Students save lives through blood donations

Sammi Schrag, News Editor

On Feb. 24, 39 SDSU students donated blood during the Community Blood Bank blood drive on campus sponsored by Greek Life.

“This particular organization is really great because it is a community blood bank, meaning all of the donations stay in the community,” Katie Yunker, program adviser for Greek Life Center for Student Engagement said on why they donate to the cause.

Through the joint effort of Sanford Health and Avera McKennan hospitals, Community Blood Bank is a nonprofit organization that provides blood products to all hospitals within a 150-mile radius of Sioux Falls, including Brookings.

“It’s life-saving for millions of people,” Lindsay Olson, a certified nurse practitioner at the South Dakota State University Student Health Clinic said. “One donation can actually save three lives.”  

Every two seconds there is a person in need of blood in the United States, according to the American Red Cross.

In order to be eligible to donate, a person must be 17 or older (depending on the state) and weigh at least 110 pounds. There are also some steps they should take before donating.

“It’s really important that you are eating regularly prior to donation. I always encourage low-fat, healthy meals,” Olson said. “Drinking more fluids such as water and juice is also important.”

She adds that a person should avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption prior to donating blood.

“After donation, a person’s blood will be screened for HIV, hepatitis and syphilis as well as typed. All of that information the donator will receive,” Olson said.

Freshman Presley Gruba has donated blood since high school. “I’ve just always liked doing it [donating blood]. It makes you feel good,” Gruba said.

The process only takes about an hour to potentially save three lives.

“If you are healthy and well, meet the minimum requirements and have stable hemoglobin … then I would encourage it [donation],” Olson said. “It’s a life-saving measure and it doesn’t take a ton of time.”