What would happen if you suddenly found yourself lying in a hospital bed fading in and out of consciousness because of blood loss due to illness, surgery or serious injury? Hopefully you would receive a blood transfusion immediately, but what if there was no blood for you to receive?
That situation is exactly why people of all blood types make the decision to become a donor. Some people donate for the incentives, such as movie tickets or shirts, others donate to give back to the community or because it is important to them, but the fact remains that many people who are in- or have been in- a situation where they need blood survive solely because of blood donors.
There are many reasons to donate blood, and everyone has their own for becoming a donor, but the main reason is to save lives.
“I think the main reason people donate blood is because someone in their family has needed it,” Alexa Craig, Donor Services Team Leader and Phlebotomist for LifeSouth said. “And [the donors]… want to give it back…like a pay-it-forward deal.”
There are eight different types of blood, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+ and O-, all of which have specific compatibilities with one another. While it is common knowledge that O- is the universal donor type, www.lifesouth.org/donate explains that type O is the most requested of all of the types of blood by hospitals.
Peter Nettles, Criminal Justice major and veteran donor in every sense of the word said he started donating before he joined the Army because there are so many different blood types that donating will impact someone in need and help them.
Craig, a seven time donor who has been a phlebotomist for three years, said a trauma victim might need as much as 100 pints of blood before they can recover, but also that one donation of blood (1 pint) can potentially save as many as three lives.
“Without blood donors, there is no way to get blood,” Crystal Montonye, Donor Recruiter for LifeSouth said, solidifying the need for more donors.
Luckily, blood donation sites are not that difficult to find, and the LifeSouth blood bus frequents CF so students who wish to learn more about donating or actually donate can do so while at school.
“I believe [donating] is the right thing to do,” Abraham Garcia, Criminal Justice major and first time donor said. “There are people who need the blood…it can help people who need a transfusion or have a disease.”
While there are incentives to donating, giving blood means more than just getting free food, a movie ticket or a tee shirt. Being a blood donor means being a life saver.
“It’s good to donate because if somebody else needs blood, you are helping someone who needs it,” Nettles said, “[whether] it is a blood transfusion or sick[ness], when you donate you are basically sacrificing yourself to save a life.”
By: Ambrozia Barth