Help save lives on Saddleback’s campus

On Monday, Nov. 9, Saddleback College hosted a blood drive. The mobile bus was parked in the faculty staff parking lot 9A until 2 p.m. There were student volunteers talking to other students walking past the bus in an attempt to get more students to get involved in the blood drive.

The process for the blood drive is not long, but only takes about 30-45 minutes to complete the whole procedure. The donor fills out the form and has his or her finger pricked to make sure the iron level is high enough to donate. Then the donor lies on the bed as the phlebotomist starts the procedure to draw blood. When finished, the donor is given snacks and water while then rests afterward for ten minutes before he or she may leave.

Donors have the option of whole blood donation or double red cells. Whole blood is the most common type of donation. The blood is separated into transfusable components- red cells, plasma, platelets and/or cryoprecipitated AHF. A double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine which collects the red cells, but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor.

According to more than 41,000 blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. There are 9.2 million blood donors in the U.S. a year, contributing 15.7 million blood donations in the U.S. annually. Blood donations save lives, which is the sole purpose of conducting these drives.

“It’s to save lives, we need blood on the shelves in the hospitals to save lives,” said Sue Forster, marketing blood drives for San Diego and Hoag Hospital. “Any critical, accidents, sickness, I mean that blood needs to be on that shelf, so we host blood drives.”

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each donor usually gives a pint of blood and one pint typically saves three lives. Within a couple of hours the blood is rejuvenated but a person needs to wait 56 days before being eligible to donate again when donating whole blood. When a person double cell donates then they are required to wait 112 days before their next donation. Many people are happy to help, why continually donate.

“I didn’t really have anything to do today, I donated once before,” said Saddleback student Vanessa Diaz, 18, human services major. “I just feel like if you can help, then why not.”

Some people are skeptical to give blood because of time, health, fear of needles or personal reasons. It is not an easy thing to do especially if you’ve never done it before, or had any type of needle in your veins.

“I had never had anything done to my veins for any reason before, so when it was my turn to give up the arm,” said San Diego blood bank phlebotomist Cameron Wells, 26. “I was so so so nervous I held my breath, when I exhaled, I just saw stars and passed out.”

People usually donate a pint of blood and each pint saves about three lives. They visit different colleges and high schools in Orange County, the next blood drive at Saddleback is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2016. Get involved by donating blood and help save lives.