Blood donors save many lives

June 5, 2015 Featured Slider, News Print Print
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The Oklahoma Blood Institute will be back at OCCC on June 17 to collect more donations, said Terri Townsend, Oklahoma Blood Institute coordinator.

OCCC’s last blood drive fell short of its goal, she said.

++OBITownsend said they had hoped to collect at least 70 donations during the two days the donation center was on campus, April 14 and 15.

However, only 53 blood donors responded to the call. The first day, 29 blood donations were made and 24 the second day.

“We were expecting at least 70,” she said.

Townsend said blood donations save millions of lives across the U.S.

“Donations are of extreme importance,” she said. “People should donate blood because their blood can save somebody’s life.”

OCCC Police Officer Tim Harris said he participated in the drive.

“I donate blood regularly because I think it’s the right thing to do for people who need it,” he said.

“Everybody should donate because we never know when there will be a shortage of blood.”

Townsend said almost everyone can donate. All blood types are important, but the ones that are hardest to find are O negative and A negative.

O negative blood is especially desirable because that blood can be given to anyone regardless of their blood type, Townsend said.

OCCC Pioneer News Writing Instructional Assistant Ronna Austin is an O negative blood donor.

She said she donates blood every time she is eligible. People should not be afraid because it’s a virtually painless experience, she said.

“It’s nothing to be scared of. Some people are afraid of needles, but it’s not painful at all.

“Maybe people would be more willing to donate if they would see blood donation as an opportunity to save a life rather than being stuck with a needle.”

Each donation can save three lives, Austin said.

“The Blood Institute also calls and tells me how my blood was used which is a great feeling.”

Austin said donating blood also can be made into a game.

“My friends and I usually compete on who donates more blood and who can fill the bag the quickest,” she said.

“A friend of mine is a seven-gallon blood donor.

“My goal is to pass that by becoming an eight-gallon blood donor.”

Austin said she is about to receive her four-gallon pin.

Townsend said the blood donations assist more than 163 medical institutions in Oklahoma and in the U.S.

Those who donated blood were given an Oklahoma Blood Institute T-Shirt and a mini health-check that included the donor’s pulse, temperature, cholesterol level and blood pressure.

For more information about donating blood, visit OBI’s website at obi.org.

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