With just a half hour out of your day, you could save a life. It's with that in mind the Hastings Community Center hosted a blood drive on Tuesday and encouraged locals to come in and donate their own red cells. The blood drive asked all to come out and donate a pint to help save a life, which is with a few stipulations. To donate blood a person has to be at least 16 years old and must have a parents consent. The specialists at the blood drive also had several suggestions for prospective donors Tuesday.
"We make sure they have to drink a lot before, especially if it's their first time, we give them water bottle or juices, anything before they donate," said Mohammad Chhipa, a blood donor specialist. "After they donate we keep them in case they pass out or they have a reaction. If it happens, it could happen to you. Eat well before you come, you have to be feeling well and healthy at the time of donation."
Being hydrated and at full strength is particularly important when donating blood because a person is required to donate a pint, which is equal to 500 milliliters. The room in the Hastings Community Center that the drive was conducted in was filled with viles, needles and scrubs. There was, however, on the other side of the room, juice, cookies and crackers.
Ivan Gonzalez was another blood donor specialist at the drive and has worked in blood drives for 10 years. Gonzalez said the purpose of the drives is to keep the blood supply at optimum levels because just one person's donation could save a life. Just how often are these drives conducted?
"[On a] daily basis, seven days a week and pretty much everywhere," Gonzalez said. "Churches, synagogues, firehouses, precincts, schools, communities, pretty much anyone that'll take us and [let us] set up a blood drive."
The average person has approximately 10 pints of blood in their body, so a donation of one pint from each person at the drive can have a huge affect. When asked why it was so important for people to come out and give blood, the specialists were straight to the point.
"It's a difference in somebody's life," Gonzalez said.
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