By: MABEL MYERS
Last Thursday Oct. 3, the South Bend Medical Foundation came to campus in their mobile blood bank. This is one of multiple blood drives that the Foundation puts on throughout the school year. The mobile blood bank travels around to campuses and locations around the community.
Kari Frame, the Health and Wellness Center operations director said, “Our community needs up to 125 donations a day to stay at a safe level, and unfortunately, we don’t always see that. IUSB and the other local colleges are a tremendous help to the blood bank and we very much value your efforts and time.”
Every blood type is needed on a daily basis. The need for type of blood is constantly changing. It changes based on the needs of those put into the hospital.
It is important for people to donate blood because blood transfusions have many purposes in a hospital. Transfusions can be used for cancer patients, surgery patients, or even trauma patients. These transfusions help to replace blood that has been lost or to help patients that cannot make blood properly.
“Only 2 percent of the population donates and we have a large need in our area for blood. When that little amount is donated, we have to look elsewhere for it,” said Mary Ann, South Bend Medical Foundation.
O- is the universal blood type that doctors and hospitals use when they don’t know what type you are and the situation is urgent. Frame stated, “There is only about 7% of people with O- blood.” It is preferred to give patients their own blood type if it is possible.
Donating blood can be scary to some. Frame stated that the process for donation is fairly simple.
The first step in the process is to sign up, the Foundation asks that you sign up in advance but walk-ins are fine as well. When you get to the bus, you need to sign in and fill out a questionnaire. After you are finished with the questionnaire, the next step is to have a simple screening.
During the screening, the nurses check your blood pressure, iron levels, and take your temperature. After this final step if everything in your screening is fine, you will be ready to donate blood. You are able to go through this process every 56 days.
Before you donate blood, it is recommended that you eat a full meal. It is also helpful to drink lots of water so you stay hydrated. Those that have iron issues, Frame suggests greens and protein.
After donating, the blood goes through a testing process. When it clears that process, it then goes to local hospitals.