Red Cross blood drive doubles expectations

Pierce College’s biannual Red Cross blood drive brought in almost twice the amount of donated blood the not-for-profit organization expected.

The Great Hall was converted into a blood donation center on Oct. 15, where Red Cross staff and volunteers drew blood from dozens of student, faculty and administration donors.

“I think it was almost twice what they expected,” Student Health Center director Beth Benne said. “They did very, very well.”

The sheer number of blood donors surprised the Red Cross.

“I don’t think we were expecting it to be this busy,” Red Cross volunteer Jasmine Detrick said. “Or else we would have probably brought more beds, more nurses and more staff with us.”

Rugby Club president Reed Sigmon donated blood, something he’s done at least once per year since he was in high school. This time he used the Alyx Component Collection System, which pulled twice as many red blood cells as the whole blood donation method.

“At first it’s all fun,” Sigmon said. “You watch the blood go through, but from the Alyx machine you get really cold. You get the shivers and you get a little lightheaded.”

Whole blood donation didn’t have the same affect on Sigmon.

“When I did the normal blood donation I felt fine,” Sigmon said. “I had no issues. I went to football practice right after.”

Whether they had football practice on their agenda or not, students, faculty, and administration have donated blood at Pierce for a long time, Benne said.

“At least since I have been here, 21 years, it has been an ASO event,” Benne said.

She said she hopes that in the future the ASO will look to the Student Health Center to assist in coordinating faculty resources for more student awareness.

For more information about blood donation visit www.redcrossblood.org, or call the Red Cross at (800) 733-2767.