Blood drive proves to be successful for Red Cross

U By Brady Averill

university nursing student Kari Sundem knows firsthand the impact a person’s blood donation can have on a sick patient.

Through her studies and work with hospital patients, Sundem said she has realized the need medical facilities have for healthy blood donors. This prompted her to attend the School of Nursing’s annual blood drive Monday.

“I donated after seeing the need for it in the hospital and through school,” Sundem said. “I do what I can.”

Sponsored by the American Red Cross and University nursing students, 56 people signed up to donate blood during the drive, with several more walk-in donors participating throughout the day.

Raising 40 units of blood was the goal, student coordinators Nick Hommez and Lisa Heyer said.

“There is always a shortage – always a need,” Heyer, a senior nursing student, said. “One donation can save three lives.”

In order to qualify to donate blood, a person must have a hematocrit (iron) level of 38 percent. He or she must also have a minimum weight of 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old and free from any illnesses.

Hommez said finding healthy donors presented a slight challenge at Monday’s drive but said the number of people being turned away would not detract from the 40 unit goal.

“The only detriment of today’s drive has been a low iron count,” he said. “We’ve had to turn 25 percent of the people away.”

Hommez and Heyer said if Monday’s drive proved to be successful, nursing students will organize another drive in the spring.

The Red Cross sponsors hundreds of blood drives nationwide every year. The organization encourages other student groups on campus to arrange drives of their own. For more information, visit www.mplsredcross.org.

Brady Averill is a freelance writer. The freelance editor welcomes comments at [email protected]