by Sarah Hypes
Blood was flowing on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the College of the Desert’s semi-annual blood drive. Students were lined up along the walls of the Cravens Student Services Center to donate blood or plasma to the Community Blood Bank (CBB).
The atmosphere was upbeat and students seemed excited to help others. COD student Alejandra Mujica, 18, was asked why she wanted to donate? She replied “I wanted to help because I know it saves lives.”
The blood that was gathered can be stored for 42 days, according to phlebotomist Clarissa Parker. Donated blood is shared with other blood banks in the area, going to patients at Eisenhower Medical Center, Palo Verde Hospital, and Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital in Twenty-nine Palms. Blood can be donated three times a year and one pint of blood can save as many as four lives.
The rarest type, according to Parker, is O-negative. The blood bank is always in need of that type because it can go to anyone in need of blood. Donations usually take 15 minutes, with the entire process lasting about half an hour. The process was much faster for those who had an appointment.
After donating, donors must wait 15 minutes to determine if they feeling well. They are treated to free snacks, bottled water and a new Blood Drive shirt. In addition to doing a good deed, donors receive numerous incentives for each donation. Donors at the COD blood drive were entered into a drawing for a designer handbag from Timmy Woods of Beverly Hills.
The CBB donor reward program includes free ice cream, pizza, movie tickets and DVDs. Points are earned each time someone donates blood.
A record-breaking 51 pints of blood were given, making this year’s blood drive a great success.