The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



    Give blood, save lives, feel good

    Trent Fitch
    Student donates blood during the blood drive.

    Trailers and students appeared outside of the Lib Jackson Student Union (LJSU) Sept. 28 for those willing to donate blood through The Blood Connection. 


    The Blood Connection organization has been around since 1962, collecting and providing safe and cost-effective blood to hospitals since moving to Myrtle Beach about two and a half years ago. Unlike the Red Cross, the Blood Connection is made up of employees rather than volunteers, and the group is regionally based. All of their work is directed locally in South Carolina, parts of southern North Carolina and Eastern Georgia. 


    Tom O’Hara, the business development representative for The Blood Connection, said they had a decent turnout.  


    “Usually, the first blood drive of the new semester is a little bit slower because word has not gotten out, but I think we did 40 to 50 today which is not bad,” he said. “For everyone we do, we save three lives, so that’s a good number.” 


    Jorge Mezquite, senior engineering science major, was one of many people who showed up to the event as a frequent donor, donating blood at least three times a year. 


    “I usually donate blood whenever I can, it is just something I have always done,” Mezquite said, “I typically, usually, donate blood when there is a dry fever.” 


    Before donating blood, individuals were required to be in proper health, 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. They also had to show a valid form of photo ID, including a driver’s license or passport, before filling out a form cataloging their personal health and contact information. 


    The donated blood goes through extensive testing, first being separated by a centrifuge into three components; plasma to treat people experiencing shock, serious burns, or clotting issues, red blood cells for people with anemia or severe blood loss from significant trauma or surgery and platelets to prevent elevated risk of clotting, bruising, or bleeding. The blood is then tested before being transferred to hospitals and patients in need.  


    Unlike a usual free t-shirt, those who donated had the chance to earn points on The Blood Connection’s website to exchange for $60 gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks and many other businesses as a reward. 


    The Blood Connection’s next drive will be held on Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside of LJSU. 

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