by Graciela Becerra
The Community Blood Center is taking donations in the buyback lounge of the Student Center on Feb. 16–17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jim Sajevic, donor recruiter, said they hope to collect 65 pints of blood each day, and they welcome walk-in donors.
“The best way you can prepare to be a good blood donor is to hydrate,” said Sajevic. “You’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day and make sure you have a good meal before you donate.”
He states one donation can save two, sometimes three lives.
“Your platelets may go to one patient, your red cells to a second patient, and your plasma to a third,” said Sajevic. “The platelets that you lose in a donation are replaced within two hours of donating, the plasma within two days and the red cells within two weeks.”
According to Sajevic, if students or employees at the college want to donate blood, they can register with the clerk, fill out a short medical history and undergo a mini physical. If they’re medically eligible, they would donate a pint of blood and would afterwards be provided with snacks and drinks to replenish fluids and nutrients lost during the donations.
“I would encourage people to come in,” said Sajevic. “We have to collect 580 pints of blood a day just to take care of the patients in the 70 hospitals in our service area, and we can’t collect 5,000 pints of blood [per] year without the help of every Cavalier on campus.”
Ashley Barrett, student, became a first-time donor on Feb 16.
“It wasn’t as scary as everyone told me it would be, or as scary as I thought it would be,” said Barrett. “It was actually really cool and it made me feel really good about myself.”
Alyssa Barrett, student and second-time donor explains why she chose to donate this semester.
“When I did it last time it felt really good knowing that somebody was going to be able to actually benefit from the process,” she said. “And when I found out that I had O positive, I knew that was a really beneficial type of blood and I thought I might as well donate and help someone out.”
The Community Blood Center visits the campus three times per year, once per spring, summer and fall.
“Imagine that you’re at the foot of a hospital bed and it’s your mother or your brother who needs a pint of blood to battle cancer, to recuperate from surgery or to recover from a serious injury,” said Sajevic. “Everyone in the hospital in need of a transfusion is someone’s mother, someone’s brother, and so to me, giving blood is the ultimate act of paying it forward, helping someone else. One out of three people will need a transfusion in their lifetime, so this is a way to make sure that we take care of today’s patients now.”