Today was pretty much like any other day. It was 12:30pm and I was sitting in the cafeteria with my roommate, chomping down pasta for lunch. We were discussing our schedules for the remainder of the day; a couple classes left and then a night of relaxation, not much out of the ordinary. But matters quickly changed, when an extremely large furry red blob came running through the cafeteria. Now, although we are used to seeing everything from frat boys in spandex suits to shooter the fox at the salad bar, never had we seen such a character in our presence.
Then it came to me, the blood drive, hosted by the New York Blood Center, was being held on the third floor of the student center, right above the cafeteria. After watching the character sporadically scurry up those eating lunch, my roommate Julia and I were finally convinced to go donate. So, we finished up our meals and pranced up the staircase to the PAR, ready to go.
After filling out some paperwork, we sat waiting to be the next victims. Eventually we were each brought behind tri-folds of blue felt and questioned about basically everything that could ever affect our blood. This is where I failed the test. Apparently for a number of reasons, I am not qualified to give blood; at least not this time around! Donors must meet a list of requirements; temporary reasons for not being able to give blood include: having any type of illness, a recent piercing or tattoo, heart disease, traveling outside of the US and Canada, or serious injuries. However, as I was unsuccessful, Julia was not.
Although I was unable to give, I did learn a lot about donating blood. For one, every day close to 2,000 people in our community need a blood transfusion, so every donation goes a long way! The process of actually retrieving the blood can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. In this short period of time, one pint of whole blood is extracted. After the donation, most donors feel fine, and are able to relax and munch on free snacks provided by the organization. So, if you’re at least 16 years old, and weigh 110lbs, you should definitely consider giving some of your time (and blood!) to associations such as the New York Blood Center.
– Jackie Mucilli