[Hammond] Southeastern Louisiana University students came together at the University Health Center on Wednesday, April 1 to save lives with the help of The Blood Center. The event was Ricky Poche’, Mass Communications Major, project for his communications 466 class for special event planning and despite the blood drive being on April Fool’s Day, The Blood Center received 36 donations from Southeastern students.
Coordinator Ricky Poche’ set out to achieve a goal of 30 people donating and at the end of the day got 36 people to donate, 28 the regular way with whole blood and four by Alyx which count for double the regular donation, meaning four people donated equaling eight blood donations. Alyx donations are different than whole blood donations because it uses an automated technology to safely collect double the amount of blood cells of those with blood type O or B.
“I chose to take communications 466 because I always wanted to help with events so I figured it would be beneficial to me to take this class. I spoke with Melissa Jacob, assistant administrator to the Health Center, and with her suggestion of doing a blood drive, being that I can’t donate due to health issues, I decided it would be a great idea to run this event and help save lives,” said coordinator Ricky.
Once Ricky contacted Debbie Ainsworth at The Blood Center, the plan was set into motion. The Blood Center then sent nurses to help fulfill their motto of “Serving you for life”. Kimberly Cain, nurse for The Blood Center for 12 years said, “Anyone 16 years of age or older can donate as long as they are healthy and if the donor is 16 years of age as long as he or she has parental consent when donating. As for when people can donate, if they are donating whole blood, they can donate every two months.”
Nurse Kimberly Cain said,” I have always wanted to help others and when one donates blood; their blood can be used to help surgeries, cancer patients, burn victims, and anyone in need of blood medically.”
To donate, students first answer a series of health questions to make sure they were eligible to give blood. Next student’s had their pulses, temperature and blood sugar checked in order to make sure they were healthy to give blood. Then donors, were sent to another room with empty blood bags, tubes and a wrap in hand to a room to give blood.
“I like donating; it makes me feel good. I donate often to help others and my advice for those who want to donate is to drink lots of water and eat well before you donate,” said Kelsey Perret, freshman nursing major. Each student who donated, like Perret, was given an Easter bunny and a T-shirt that read, “Live that, Give that,” after they finished donating.