Will Timpview donate enough blood this year?

Ayleen Lara

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Timpview HOSA is hosting a blood drive with ARUP (Associated Regional and University Pathologists) Blood Services this Friday the 8th in Auditorium Foyer. Our last blood drive was unsuccessful, to say the least. In past years, blood drives are usually successful.

“First of all people are scared of needles”, said Timpview HOSA officer Susie Lee. “Last time a lot of people were sick and it was the week before break as well, so a lot of people flew out of the country”.

During the winter, there is always an increasing demand for blood because of the significant increase in accidents and injuries during the holiday season.

“They are trained people, they know what they are doing.” said previous blood donor Isabel Benjamin.“It’s cool when they call you to tell you that they saved a life. They told me last time that I saved a baby!”

Community Relations Representative of ARUP Rob Fox said, “ We make every attempt we can to make sure our donors are prepared to donate blood. Such as encouraging them to drink plenty of fluids before, and not be hungry when they come to donate”.

Hospitals are always in need of blood. The Red Cross estimates that every 2 seconds someone needs a blood donation. 1 person can save up to 3 people at a time, and it takes just 15 minutes to save a life at your local hospital.

Timpview counselor Cinda Morgan experienced the impact of blood donations in her life. She said, “I had one of my children that needed a blood transfusion, and I am truly grateful for the people who donate”.

HOSA is already seeing an increase in blood donation applicants, but is it going to be enough for what hospitals need?

“Right now we are really low on blood in Utah”, Susie said. “So many people die from lack of blood and there are so many people in lines for blood”.

An estimated 360,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day. Much of it is not needed for injuries. Blood transfusions can help people with a variety of diseases from cancer to sickle cell disease, a disease that prevents patients from making normal blood cells. Many of these patients will need transfusions for the rest of their lives.

“The crisis that is developing is that there are more and more patients in need of blood, ~40% more patients over last year.” Fox said.

One of the concerns that made donators hesitant was the idea that ARUP might be an organization who, for whatever reason, sells blood to hospitals like the Red Cross.

“We don’t sell the blood, we are owned by our hospitals and we give it to them and they reimburse us for to cover the cost of collection. (…) Very few blood centers in the country are owned by their hospitals. Blood is given to the hospital for the cost of collection which includes the blood bags, blood testing, blood storage, and collection staff.  Because ARUP is small and local with minimal staff and operations we save each of our hospitals over one million dollars a year in blood costs.”, said Fox.

If you are interested in donating, please sign up for a time at the commons. You will be needing a permission slip from your guardian(s) and your ID for Friday, the scheduled day for donating. You must be at least 16 years or older to donate and meet the minimum height and weight requirements.

“It’s a simple way to do something meaningful for someone else and they give you snacks afterwards.”, Isabel said. “It’s worth the poke”.