September 21, 2023
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska
Barton Community College will host a blood drive from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Kirkman Practice Gym. Donors will receive a $15 Amazon gift card from the American Red Cross.
Donors are encouraged to set an appointment using the "RapidPass" system. RapidPass allows donors to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of their home or office; reducing the time they spend at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes. Visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to sign up. If donors choose to use the RapidPass system, they must complete the form the day of their donation. This can be done as early as midnight of that day. Walk-ins will still be accepted, but the new system is designed to make the process more streamlined.
Information about blood donation from the American Red Cross:
- On any given day, an average of 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States.
- An individual suffering from massive blood loss may require transfusions of up to 100 pints of red blood cells.
- A unit of blood once obtained has to be transfused in 42 days. If not, it has to be discarded.
- The average adult body contains 10-12 pints (units) of blood.
- There is no substitute for human blood. It cannot be manufactured.
- According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer annually. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
How to prepare for giving blood:
- The day prior begin drinking extra fluids especially water with electrolyte supplements. Good hydration will make the process of giving blood easy.
- Eat a good breakfast or lunch prior to giving blood. Good hydration and good nutrition will help prevent lightheadedness and weakness associated with giving blood.
- Eat iron-rich foods to help provide good hemoglobin. Red meat, oysters, clams, soybeans, dried beans, peas, lentils, whole grain cereals and breads, prunes, dried fruit and liver are excellent sources of iron.
- Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron, so eat foods rich in vitamin C such as: citrus fruits or juices, kiwi, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, spinach and leafy greens like turnips and collard greens.
A few of the reasons you may not be able to give blood:
- Low blood pressure.
- High blood pressure.
- Fever, cough or other acute cold symptoms.
- On antibiotics for an infection.
- Body piercing: eligible if under sterile conditions. If questionable, required to wait 12 months.
- Tattoo if applied at state regulated facility. If not, must wait 12 months.
- Travel outside the US in countries having high risk of malaria.
For more information, contact Barton Campus Nurse Jenni Bauer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 792-9233.