September 24, 2016

Webster hosts seasonal blood drive in Sunnen Lounge

Student and Faculty gathered in the Sunnen Lounge on Feb. 18 as the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center set up their donation stations and gave everyone the opportunity to donate blood. 

A blood drive worker draws blood from a student volunteer. Blood drives are held ever season at Webster. JORDAN PALMER | The Journal

A blood drive worker draws blood from a student volunteer. Blood drives are held ever season at Webster. JORDAN PALMER | The Journal

Participants were allowed to donate one unit of blood each, and the blood would be donated to any SSM hospital that needed it.

“Our goal is only thirty units collected,” said event manager Sarah Hartel.

High blood pressure, low blood pressure, incorrect quantities of iron in the blood, pulse rates and a person’s travel history are all factors that could rule someone out for donation.

“On a bad day,” Hartel said, “you could have forty-five people come in, and only fifteen of them would be able to donate.”

These conditions are determined prior to the blood draw. First, participants would register to donate via iPad (The Valley Blood Center had abandoned registration via paper altogether, contrary to donation events in previous years).

After that was a set of Medical questions and a physical exam. This is where individuals could be rejected for donation. Last is the draw itself, which takes five to ten minutes.

Octavio Pino, the general manager for dining services at Webster University, has donated blood three to four times a year for nearly forty consecutive years. He began donating when he was eighteen and his grandmother was hospitalized.

“It’s a good cause,” Pino said. “I think more people should do it.”

Physicians and civilians involved in the process of drawing blood are perceptive of these facts, although they agree it is difficult work. The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center has teams typically perform up to five different blood drawing events per day.

“I feel it’s a great way to help people” said Thomas Quintero, a Freshman and Biological Sciences major at Webster.

Thomas, who donates every eight weeks, used to drive to blood centers to donate. He said he felt he was relieved to find out Webster offers seasonal blood drives.

“I just like the idea of saving lives” Quintero said.

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