Students donate blood

Kaylyn Hohn and Caitlin Irla

Staff Writers

98 potential lives were saved this holiday season when 49 Hudson Valley students and staff, along with members of the Capital Region, donated blood for the American Red Cross on Nov. 18 in the Siek Campus Center.

“At this blood drive, we aren’t taking blood platelets, so each donation could effectively save two lives … there were 49 donors, meaning, altogether, 98 lives may be saved,” said April Evans, a donor specialist for the American Red Cross.

Evans continued by saying that there is usually an increase in blood donations around the holidays. “People are feeling benevolent and there is a sympathy factor,” she explained.

Each donor gave a pint of blood, which involves cleaning a spot on the arm and inserting a sterile needle into a vein to draw the blood, a process that takes about five to eight minutes. Evans insists that “it’s not as bad as people think” in regards to drawing blood, but a first-time donor wasn’t so sure.

“It took a little convincing … it’s a good thing to do. I just don’t like needles,” said Bobby Van Ness, an engineering science major, as he waited for the process to be over. As Evans took blood from Van Ness, he admitted with a red face that it was “not so bad.”

“The least I could do is donate blood,” said Van Ness.

Brianna Uckley, an undeclared major, shared Van Ness’s dislike of needles, but decided to donate a second time. “I thought it would be a good thing to do,” she said.

For some donors though, this wasn’t the first, or the second, or even the third time giving blood.

“I’ve donated five or six times. I saw it was being offered here at the college, and then I saw the signs and decided to donate … people are in need,” said Courtney McDonnell, a biological sciences major.

“This is one of my favorite charities, I do it all the time. I have type O blood, so it’s universal and helps a lot of people,” said A.J. Jillian, an electrical engineering major.

According to the Red Cross, around 41,000 blood donations are needed daily for things like blood transfusions, keeping emergency rooms stocked, and car accidents. Type O blood is the most requested by hospitals, especially type O-negative due to the great demand but short supply.

“If a lot more people donate, more lives would be saved … I’m happy I’m saving peoples’ lives,” JIllian added.

The American Red Cross teamed up with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to provide each of the 49 donors with a pair of free tickets to the upcoming TSO concert at the Times Union Center in Albany on Nov. 30. The opportunity was available for the first 50 people to donate blood.


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