Algonquin College sees red
BY TARA GOODFELLOW
The Canadian Blood Services came to Algonquin College Tuesday, March 27 in hopes of enabling willing students to volunteer donating their blood to people in need of blood transfusions. Many students came out to Salon A market place food court wishing to donate their blood for the good cause.
Before students could donate their blood, they had to go through a multi-stepped process to confirm that they were safe to donate, meaning that their blood transfusion would not put the receiver at risk for an illness. Identification was to be approved at the doors before being able to book an appointment to make sure you were at least 17-years-old, in good general health as well as being at least 110 lbs. A red folder was then given to the donor that held your standing number and your I.D. along with a card informing you of the next safe date you can donate your blood.
A simple blood test is conducted to test that your iron level is high enough to safely donate blood. This is called a Hemoglobin test. If it is, the donor is given a questionnaire to complete asking about general health, travel history and participation in potential high risk activities. If you pass the questionnaire, your blood pressure and body temperature to determine you are in perfect health to donate blood for that day.
If the potential donor is determined clear of any illnesses and is deemed a safe candidate to donate, they spend the next 15 minutes having their blood connected through a tube in their forearm which is attached to a pump extracting the blood. The entire process for the donor takes roughly an hour to complete.
After the blood is collected, a small sample is tested for transmissible diseases. The blood which passes these tests is separated into various components and then transported to hospitals and other healthcare facilities as needed.
The 15 minutes that is spent extracting the donors blood is one unit or 450 ml of blood. Put into perspective, two units of blood can help save a life of someone undergoing a hip replacement surgery.Five units of blood that is donated could save the life of a patient going through cancer treatment, and donating eight units of blood a week could help a patient with leukemia treatment.