Taking place from Jan.30-31, the Florida Tech Blood Drive recently came and left with the life-saving blood that’d be shipped to hospitals all around Florida for transfusions.
OneBlood, the organization who sends out the Big Red Bus to collect blood donations, has a constant need for blood.
“There is a never-ending need for blood every day everywhere,” said Susan Forbes, OneBlood’s senior executive of communication and public relations. “Less than 10 percent of the population donates when 40 percent is eligible.”
According to Red Cross Blood Services, “Only about three percent of age-eligible people donate blood yearly” but “less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood.”
It’s because of this need that people like Arpad Marsh, a senior in forensic psychology [and fellow Crimson reporter], donates as often as he can for the last two years and every time the Big Red Bus is on campus.
“I know that it could possibly save someone’s life,” Marsh said. “The blood won’t just sit around. I know that it’s going to be put to good use.”
Blood collected from the Big Red Buses gets tested the night of collection, and after two or three days it is sent to hospitals all over Florida, Forbes said.
Forbes also said the OneBlood gets from 2,000-2,500 donations a day throughout their service area in Florida and parts of Georgia.
Forbes said that the amount of Florida Tech students that donate varies in the collection cycle. “Each drive is unique to in and of itself,” she said.
OneBlood sets up a donation event with Florida Tech around 56 days after the last one, which is the time it takes most people to recover from a previous donation and be in good shape to donate once again.
It’s because the donations happen so often that Bao Nguyen, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering, decided to seize the opportunity presented to him and donated for the first time on Wednesday, Jan 30.
“I feel okay,” Nguyen said. “It’s way easier than I thought.”
He described being nervous as he walked up to the Big Red Bus and signed in to give his blood for the cause.
“I felt anxiety not knowing what would happen,” Nguyen said. “But the people were nice and the procedure went perfect and you would feel okay afterwards.”
Nguyen also mentioned that he did this after finishing his classes for the day so he could relax and recover in peace.
As a piece of advice for new donors, Nguyen said to not look at the needle. As big as it may seem to you, it’s not that bad, he said.
OneBlood’s website has several requirements to be eligible to donate: you have to be in reasonably good health, have no prior conditions that would be aggravated by the procedure, no blood-borne diseases and to wait 12 months after if you get a tattoo and/or body piercing.
The next opportunity for students to give blood is listed on Florida Tech’s campus calendar for March 27 and 28.