Blood Battle Champions

by Rachel Peterson

Approximately 100 Simpson students, faculty and Indianola community members took on Central College and Buena Vista in a battle to save lives last Thursday and Friday.

The competition, sponsored by LifeServe Blood Center, was created to encourage more donations said Trina Elam, Alpha Phi Omega’s Vice President of Service. This is the first year of the competition. The winning school receives a trophy for the most blood donated.

Students who were not eligible to donate blood volunteered their time at the blood drive.

Sophomore Erin Brown donated blood because she has had family members who needed blood transfusions.  “It’s a process that’s very dear to my heart and I think it’s important to do it if you are able,” Brown said.

The process to donate includes a questionnaire to screen candidates, measuring temperature and blood pressure, and testing hemoglobin levels. Nicole Martin, a LifeServe donor screening specialist at the drive, said most people are candidates. At a minimum, candidates must weigh at least 120 pounds and have a hemoglobin level of 12.5.

Elam said LifeServe emphasized O negative donors attending the drive because their supply is very low. “It’s interesting to see the real impact of donating blood that actually makes a difference when things are getting low,” Elam said.

Second-time donor Lauren Tirado said she will continue to donate throughout her life because it is a simple act to save lives. “You just show up and you’re helping someone, Tirado said. One donation of blood can save up to 3 separate lives.

Students were motivated to donate to help the school win and give to a great cause. Many students, such as Brown, had personal experiences that led them to donate. Emily Pautsch, a first time donor, has always wanted to donate and the Wesley Service hours she recieves pushed her to sign up.

LifeServe staff and donors alike emphasized the ease of the process. Martin said first time donors should not be nervous and encouraged students with inquiries to contact a blood bank and donate blood.