Blood – The Gift of Life


Andrew Hage

Central Arizona College, with assistance from Phi Theta Kappa and Vitalant, hosted their bi-annual blood drive on the Signal Peak and San Tan campuses this past month. Participating students and staff donated over 30 pints of blood, potentially saving lives of up to 90 people.

This fall blood drive provided an opportunity for students and staff to donate. One of the donating students, Anna-Marie Parez from Maricopa, had this to say when asked why she donated, “I wanted to give blood because I did it a few time when I was a junior in high school, and then I got told I had the universal blood type so it’s good if I donate. I also think it’s good because I think about what happens if I’m in need or dying and I need blood; I would like the favor to be returned.”

During the blood drive this past spring at Signal Peak Campus, participants set a personal record of 31 successful blood donations in one day.  These donations are critical for ensuring the survival of those with traumatic injuries, suffering from chronic illnesses, or undergoing surgery for transplants.

Each day, there are approximately 32,000 pints of blood donated. Each pint of blood can help save up to three people. Donations can be made once every eight weeks. All it takes to donate is a quick medical history and a physical. Donating blood typically takes between eight and ten minutes, with a brief “watch” period when you are given snacks, and you’re done.

Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of the 38 percent of Americans who are eligible to donatedo soeach year. Even more concerning is that many regular donors are aging out of the donor pool. Currently, about 60 percent of blood donations are made by people over 40 years old, and of these, 75 percent come from people over 50. Blood services are reporting that there aren’t enough young people stepping up to replace them.

These figures shine light on the current blood shortage identified by the Red Cross. “The Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives,” said Christy Peters, External Communications Manager of the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region.

Make sure you mark your calendars to attend and donate at the upcoming Spring event on March 26th, 2020 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Signal Peak Campus.

Reasons to Donate Blood

  1. Blood is essential for treating chronic illnesses, surgeries and traumatic injuries.
  2. Donated blood components have an expiration date of 42 days.
  3. Giving blood is easier than people think.
  4. Just one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

Image – by Annelise Mirabal