Giving life with one pint at a time

Posted Oct. 19, 2007
Rhiannon Mim
Andrea Garcia participated in the blood drive and has donated blood six times before at previous blood drives. The American Red Cross hosted the drive in the Presidents Dining Room, Oct. 10. The Southern California Blood Services Regional office in Pomona lent the materials and manpower to the blood drive and is one out of 34 regional centers in the country. One donation of blood is used to save the lives of three people yet only 5 percent of the population chooses to donate.

for your health

Danielle Lampkin
Staff Writer

Members of the University community can help save lives, every 56 days without even leaving campus.

With such a critical need for blood, only 5 percent of eligible blood donors across the nation donate.

A ULV professor and administrator are working to increase that percentage, at least on the local level.”

“ULV always has an outpouring of people,” an American Red Cross staff member said during an Oct. 10 blood drive.

In fact ULV broke its own record last week, donating a total of 51 pints of blood.

With the hope of creating a “56-day club,” Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Alfred Clark and Assistant Professor of Management Issam Ghazzawi arranged to have a regular series of American Red Cross blood donation days on campus for students, faculty and staff.

A healthy adult can safely donate whole blood every 56 days.

The American Red Cross will provide another bank Dec. 5 on campus.

“This is a really wonderful opportunity to help our neighbors and others of the world,” Clark said.

Statistics show that each whole blood donation can help as many as three people.

One unit is divided into three parts: red blood cells, platelets and plasma.

“It feels good to save a life,” junior criminology major Andrea Garcia said. “I feel like its helping people and it doesn’t take long at all”

Every year nearly five million people in the United States receive life-saving blood transfusions.

To donate blood, besides being healthy, one must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.

A few things could prevent one from being allowed to donate.

For example, individuals that have recently gotten tattoos have to wait a year before giving blood or those who have colds must wait until their symptoms are gone.

Prospective donors must schedule an appointment and present valid identification.

It is also recommended that they eat a well-balanced meal four hours prior.

The process has three-steps: the initial screening to ensure the safety of the blood supply, the actual donation and removal of blood and the recovery.

While most people are fine immediately afterward, a few feel slightly weak, though the feelings should pass quickly, allowing donors to go back to school, work and other activities.

Donors are advised to stay hydrated during the 24 hours after giving blood.

They are also advised not to smoke for at least one hour after giving blood and refraining from strenuous activity, since about 650 calories are burned when donating one pint of blood.

The Red Cross has been invited every year to ULV, offering students the chance to give blood.

A healthy adult usually holds 10-12 pints of blood.

When donating, a person typically gives one pint of blood that the body can spare.

Not only is your blood type revealed but also your blood pressure, pulse and temperature are checked and a test for anemia is done.

“I always try to give blood,” Araceli Sanchez, a freshman international studies major, said. “It’s a good way to assist with saving another’s life.”

More information about where to donate blood in your area can be found at the American Red Cross Web site at

Danielle Lampkin can be reached at

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