HOSA hosts blood drive

By The Elm - Apr 11,2019@12:00 am

edited.BloodDrive3_HeberGuerra-RecinosBy Felipe Hendriksen

Elm Staff Writer

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) sponsored a blood drive last week at Washington College.

According to sophomore Nathaniel Neuland, community service director and president-elect of HOSA, a blood drive is “an event that HOSA hosts every semester that gives students, staff, and faculty the chance to donate blood to people in need.”

“Blood drives are extremely important. They gather blood supplies to be used in medical emergencies or during operations in hospitals,” President Kurt Landgraf said.

However, it seems that the necessity of hosting blood drives here at WC was not always acknowledged.

According to Neuland, the two blood drives held this academic year are the first ones held by HOSA in years.

“Last time they hosted a blood drive at WC was in the fall of 2015, I believe,” junior Stephaney Wilson, current HOSA president, said.

Many donate because they know that they are helping others in need.

According to Senior Director of Strategic Communications Marcia Landskroener, “I started participating in annual blood drives when I was in college because I knew it would make a difference to individuals facing a health crisis, whether they were suffering from a serious trauma or a life-threatening illness that requires blood products such as platelets. As a healthy young person, it seemed to be a fairly easy way to have a positive impact on my community.”

“Giving blood can save a life. I think giving blood is one of the simplest ways to make a gift. It costs nothing, it’s pretty much painless, and it can have a tremendous impact on another human being,” Administrative Assistant in the Global Education Office Sarah Lyle said.

“Blood drives are important because the demand for blood is extremely high in the United States and very few people are able, let alone willing, to donate. If people are eligible and comfortable with donating blood, they would be doing a great service by taking time out of their day to save lives,” Neuland said.

Many HOSA members think the drive is important precisely because of its ability to impact people in need.

“Every day someone needs blood somewhere in a hospital. By donating blood, you are helping save the life of a person who is in desperate need for it. These donations are supplying hospitals to help save a person’s life,” Wilson said.

Of course, not everyone can donate blood. There are restrictions depending on if a person has low body weight, blood conditions, or a tattoo from the last 12 months.

The reasons behind these rules are to protect donors and potential recipients.

“Certain health conditions may preclude it, or risk factors such as having lived in or traveled to a country where blood pathogens exist,” Lyle said.

“The blood banks are very cautious to ensure blood donors are healthy. They’ll ask potential donors a series of questions about their medical history, whether they have traveled out of the country where they might have been exposed to infectious diseases, or whether they engage in risky behavior that might compromise their health. They will also do a quick stick test to make sure the donor is not anemic,” Landskroener said.

President Landgraf considered the recent blood drive to be a success.

“I am very proud of Dr. Amick and the students who planned and conducted the curriculum drive. It is another of the many good things this outstanding College does to make our community a better place to be,” Landgraf said.

The Elm

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