On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Coastal Carolina Student Health Services will be teaming up with the Carolina Forest chapter of the American Red Cross for CCU’s monthly blood drive.
For those who cannot donate blood on the 29, there will be another blood drive on Nov. 7, at the same time and location as the first.
The blood drive bus will be present from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. outside of the Lib Jackson Student Union building. Students are encouraged to make an appointment online, but walk-in appointments are welcome.
Students can sign up to donate at redcrossblood.org. To book an appointment, visit the URL and enter “chants” into the search bar. Prior to their appointment, students are required to have filled out a “fast pass”, which can be completed and presented by phone on the Red Cross Blood app. The “fast pass” provides questions to ensure that the student is safe to donate blood.
Martha Heath is the Account Manager of the American Red Cross and helps to organize the blood drives.
“We hold monthly blood drives on campus because there is always a need for blood,” said Heath. “We are currently in a critical need for all blood types. We are urging all eligible blood donors to please sign up for an appointment on www.redcrossblood.org.”
Caesar Ross, the head of Student Health Services at CCU, said, “Donating blood helps physicians treat people with cancer, bleeding disorders, sickle cell anemia and other hereditary conditions; therefore, everyone should consider giving the gift of life by donating blood.”
Students who have been tattooed or have received a piercing within the last 12 months are ineligible for blood donation. Other restrictions are in place for those on specific medications, are pregnant, or weigh less than 110 lbs. Additionally, sexually active homosexual males are restricted from donating blood due to the risk of HIV. The list of eligibility requirements can be found on the Red Cross website. Reviewing this list before registration is heavily advised.
Students who wish to donate blood should set aside 45 minutes for the appointment and allow for more time if they are a walk-in.
Appointment check in hosted at the tent. A form of identification is required, a driver’s license or other form of federal or state ID will be approved. There is no fee to give blood, and insurance cards are not required. Nurses will be checking ID and eligibility status.’ Upon approval, the donation process will begin, which will not exceed 20 minutes.
The Red Cross website lists many tips for those who wish to donate, including to hydrate beforehand as it causes veins to swell, making viable veins easily identifiable. Additionally, it is important to avoid foods high in fat for 24 hours before donating. It is suggested for donors to wear a short sleeve shirt or one with sleeves that can easily be rolled up.
Previous donation drives, which have been running for several years, have been a great success.
“Last year we were able to collect 279 units of blood,” said Heath. “One unit of blood can save up to 3 lives, so we were able to help save approximately 837 lives with the help of the CCU blood donors. This year is off to a great start. We have collected 113 units of blood, and the school season has just begun.”
The Red Cross hosts blood drives on campus each month, and students can donate blood every eight weeks. Volunteering less than an hour could save up to three lives!
All students who donate will receive a free “I Bleed Teal” t-shirt.