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Your blood is needed now

What can you do to help accident victims, cancer patients and burn victims? You can help the hurt and the sick by giving your blood. The American Red Cross blood drive will be on campus Monday, April 8 from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. in the Smith Memorial Center Ballroom.

According to Franzi Herman, a registered nurse at the Portland State University Health Center, there is a great need for blood donors at this time.

“Because of spring break we are down quite a few donors,” Herman said.

Specifically, Portland State University is down 60 units (or pints) of blood. Typically, only five percent of those who are eligible to give blood actually do so.

According to the American Red Cross, the need for blood to be donated has increased with advances in medical technology and the needs of an aging population.

The American Red Cross conducts four blood drives a year on Portland State’s campus.

Herman said that the goal is to have 120 donors for each blood drive. That equates to 70 to 80 units of blood.

“We’ve always made our goal,” Herman said.

The blood collected at Portland State will be used in the Portland area hospitals and surrounding areas.

Herman said that each pint of blood saves four lives. The donated blood is broken down into different components such as plasma and red blood cells.

People who want to donate are encouraged to make an appointment through the Health Center or through the Student Resource Center.

There is a sign-up sheet located at the Student Resource Center.

“They [the Student Resource Center workers] have been our main recruiters, they have been a life saver,” Herman said.

While it is preferred to schedule an appointment people are also able to drop in to the blood drive. The American Red Cross makes a reminder phone call to those who have scheduled appointments.

Herman said the time commitment to donate blood is about an hour.

“There is an intense screening process to make certain the blood is safe,” Herman said.

Just because people have signed up for a donation does not guarantee that they are eligible to donate their blood.

According to Herman, donors should eat right and not engage in any strenuous activity the day of the donation.

To schedule an appointment through the Health Center call Herman at 503-725-3462. The Portland State University Health Center and the American Red Cross sponsor this event.