The American Red Cross came to Keene State College on Monday for the spring semester blood drive. The KSC campus hosts the drive twice during the academic year.
Many students, faculty, staff, and members of the Keene community came to the Mabel Brown Room from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 not just to donate blood but to help the Red Cross.
Senior Alex Rinaldi took time to donate blood. “I’ve donated earlier in the year and am back again today because it really helps people out,” Rinaldi said.
Members of KSC’s community service group Circle K came to volunteer at the blood drive. They helped with registration and assisting those who had just given blood.
Freshman and Circle K member Katherine Marren took time out of her day to volunteer at this event. “I feel that volunteering is a really important thing to do. I have also donated blood before and I think that it’s a really good cause,” Marren said.
Coordinator of Community Service at KSC Jessica Gagne Cloutier organizes the blood drive every semester.
She said that she is impressed with the campus community and its willingness to get involved in community service projects.
“The entire campus community always comes together for things such as the blood drive. The nice thing is that we don’t just have students show up. We also get a great deal of faculty, staff, and members of the Keene community who are excited to give blood,” Gagne Cloutier stated.
Gagne Cloutier said that at this particular blood drive, 69 full pints of blood were donated to the American Red Cross.
In addition to the full pints, twelve double red cells were also donated.
According to the American Red Cross, a double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow one to safely donate two units of red blood cells during a donation while returning one’s plasma and platelets back.
These red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component and are needed by almost every type of patient requiring transfusion.
However, not everyone can donate blood. The American Red Cross has compiled a list of requirements one must meet before giving blood.
Things such as age, weight, lifestyle, certain medical issues and even where one travels can prohibit a person from donating.
The two most remarkable requirements are to be older than 17 years old (or 16 years old presenting a signed parental consent) and to weigh more than 110 pounds.
According to newenglandblood.org, less than five percent of the national population gives blood supporting the other 95 percent.
In addition, 1,400 pints of blood must be collected every working day in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont to meet patient needs.
According to Jessica Gagne Cloutier, the goal is to donate 100 or more pints of blood for each drive.
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