Last month, WCC worked with the Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi (BBH) to host the school’s first blood drive of the year, which was located in the Hale ‘Ākoakoa parking lot. The two groups have held blood drives on campus since 1978.
The blood collected helps replenish the blood supply that BBH distributes to hospitals statewide for surgical procedures, treatment of accident victims, births and cancer treatment, among other reasons.
According to the American Red Cross, an estimated 38 percent of the U.S population is eligible to donate blood, but only 10 percent of eligible people donate their blood. Last July, KHON2 News reported that the BBH had less than one day’s supply of O-positive and O-negative blood (O is the universal blood type that can be transferred to anyone regardless of blood type).
Ryan Koo, WCC history professor and blood donor, loves the fact that WCC holds blood drives on campus, saying it builds a strong sense of community.
“I think these blood drives serve as a middle person between the school and its community,” Koo said. “It encourages students to be active in their community and give back in whatever way they can.”
Koo began donating blood in high school and has continued to be an advocate and to find ways to increase the number of donations given at WCC. One way he helps is by offering extra credit to his students for giving blood.
The donation process involves filling out an information sheet with medical and personal information including any recent tattoos or piercings, a mini physical (temperature, blood pressure, etc.) and finally the blood draw, which requires sitting in a chair for about 15 minutes while the blood is extracted.
“Donating blood means a lot to me,” Koo said. “You save lives just by giving some of your blood while sitting down for about half an hour … how many lives can we save if we all decided to give blood?”
Jalicia Daquioag, a LCC student who intends to major in nursing, describes blood drives as something everyone should consider doing.
“That saying ‘one pint saves three lives’ is true,” Daquioag said. “We should all consider donating blood. It would make us all feel good about ourselves.”
She continued, “I know some people won’t give blood because they are afraid of needles. I wasn’t able to donate blood in high school because I was underweight. Now I am eligible, and I’m definitely going to donate blood this time around to redeem myself.”
Daquioag recommends that donors eat a big breakfast on the day of the donation and drink lots of juice or water after donating to ensure you physically feel better.
“And listen to the professionals drawing your blood,” she said. “If they tell you to rest, then rest. They know what’s best for the patients.”
For more information on blood drives at WCC, contact Ryan Koo at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on donating blood, check the BBH website at http://www.bbh.org.
by Joshua Farias, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter