The American Red Cross comes WCU’s campus twice every semester, hoping to raise a certain amount of units of blood. For this first blood drive, they are hoping to raise at least 300 units of blood because of a potential blood shortage, according to Chandler Tyburski, blood drive coordinator at WCU. All blood types will be collected, but the most requested type every year by hospitals is type O. Type O is the most common blood type in the world and is a universal donor, meaning that people with Type O blood can give blood to anyone.
According to the American Red Cross, an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time. However, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually donates each year.
Donating blood can save, on average, three lives, and someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
“It is important to donate because when you donate blood, you are able to save lives. This could be your best friend, family or someone you’ve never met before, but you are able to save them every time you donate,” said Tyburski.
Donating blood is a simple process. Potential donors are given a series of handouts to read, followed by a short physical examination and questionnaire. If the potential donor is deemed eligible to give, he or she will be taken by a representative to give blood. After giving blood, the donors will be able to ask any questions they may have and be given instructions on what to do to take care of themselves following their donation.
To make an appointment to give blood or to learn more about the American Red Cross, go to redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also accepted.