/Blood: it’s in you to give…well kind of

Blood: it’s in you to give…well kind of

Phi Theta Kappa to host blood drive


Phi Theta Kappa honors society will host a blood drive for the American Red Cross on November 25th and 26th from 10:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. in the college center café. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment online here.

According to Martha Kurtz, Red Cross spokesperson of Detroit the organization’s biggest challenge is getting donors. “I’m hoping the students and staff, come out and donate. Each donation could save three lives,” said Kurtz.

According to the AABB(or the American Association of Blood Banks), approximately 40,000 units, or 5,000 gallons of blood are required daily in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities to help save the lives of occident and trauma victims as well as patients with cancer and other diseases, and organ transplant recipients.

The AABB claimed on its web page, that at any given time an estimated 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood, but less than 10 percent actually do so.

Kurtz credited the lack of donors to common misconceptions such as fears of pain, sickness, and people not knowing how to donate blood.

The three best ways for a student to help the Red Cross are, “Donating blood, volunteering, and asking a friend to donate blood. Sometimes that’s all it takes,” said Kurtz.

While all blood types are needed, there are two types that stand out as unique; type O-negative blood, which can be given to a recipient with any blood type thus it is also known as the universal blood type. The second most unique blood type is AB-negative, since it is the most uncommon.

Freshman Brandi Jacobs, 19, has never donated blood. “I tried to give blood in high school, but I was deemed ineligible because my awesome tattoos were still fresh,” said Jacobs. Potential donors are turned away if they have received tattoos within one year. She said, “I would donate now if I knew how because I have the universal blood type.”

Jessica Kelley, 37, of Kimball has the most uncommon blood type, AB-negative, representing only about one percent of the population. When asked if she would donate blood she replied, “Yes, I have given blood before so why not?”

Sometimes good willed volunteer donors are deferred for reasons like new tattoos, fever at time of donation, any type of infection, or simply because of their sexuality.

Yes potential male donors are turned away for being gay. This policy is often called a blanket ban or as the FDA calls it the MSM deferral, which gives a life time deferral for blood donation to any man who, has ever had sex with another man since 1977.

The FDA implemented this policy in 1983, a time when little was known about HIV and AIDS. Sticking with the stereotype the ban was considered for change, but was renewed in June of 2010.

In the June 10, 2010 article by Ian S. Thompson at the ACLU Washington Legislation Office it was said that if the blanket ban were lifted, the nation would potentially be supplied with an estimated amount of 900 organs available for transplant and an additional 219,000 pints of blood a year while ensuring the safety of donors and recipients.

Kurtz said, “The Red Cross and the AABB are working together to get this over turned.”


Reachelle Kocis

Staff Writer