Donate blood to save lives

Amelia Dewberry-

Gustavus Student Nurses (GSNA) is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive. The event will run from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March  6th, and from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7th in Alumni Hall. Donors can schedule an appointment at with code “Gustavus” or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

GSNA President and Senior Whitney Fink said “People should come and donate blood because the need for blood is constant and only donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every two to three seconds, and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.” According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), “a single blood donation can save up to three lives.”

People need blood for a variety of reasons such as during surgery, after an accident, or because of a disease, said the Mayo Clinic. There is no substitute for human blood, so people rely on donors to receive life-saving blood units. Additionally, the United States is experiencing a severe blood shortage, so donations are crucial, reports the NHLBI.

When people come to the blood drive, they can expect to be “greeted by GNSA members, receive a packet of information about giving blood, get checked in, have a physical assessment by the American Red Cross team, and donate which takes about 30 minutes. You will then be provided with snacks, juice, and water,” Fink said.

Fink also explained that after donating, donors can find out their blood type and where their blood was transported to on the American Red Cross Blood Donor app. “The American Red Cross is also offering a $10 pet supply gift card to all donors for anywhere of their choice along with a chance to win a $3,000 gift card,” Fink said.

A common misconception is that donating blood is painful. “Most people think that getting your finger poked to check your hemoglobin levels (the amount of oxygen in your blood) is more painful than the actual donation,” Fink said.

The Red Cross’s website assuages other common concerns like fear of needles or fainting. They suggest focusing on the lives saved by donating and trying to relax by reading a book, listening to music, or chatting. They also recommend drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy food, and getting a good night’s sleep before your appointment.

People who have blood infections, are taking antibiotics for an infection, or have been in contact with someone who is HIV positive or has Hepatitis B should not donate. According to the American Red Cross’s website, a check for “temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin” will ensure that it is safe to donate.

GSNA is “an academic organization of nursing students wishing to increase general health and awareness at Gustavus Adolphus College and to represent the college through involvement with community, state, and national levels while also providing a social atmosphere where nursing students can increase their own awareness of current nursing issues,” Fink said.

The group began sponsoring the blood drive several years ago to address the dire need for blood both in the community and nationwide. They work with the American Red Cross, a non-profit whose mission statement is  “to prevent and relieve suffering with every action.” Blood donation is one of their main initiatives with the organization supplying 40% of the nation’s blood.

Fink and GSNA ask everyone to consider donating: “This is truly such a small act to make such a positive impact on someone’s life. We encourage everyone to take this step to save lives!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *