Students in Upstate’s Donor Initiative host a blood drive Feb. 20 in the Setnor Academic Building.
Organizers have allotted 65 slots for the five-hour event, including 10 for double red blood cell donations.
“Double red blood cell machines take two units of red blood cells and then return the remaining blood components to the donor,” said second-year medical student Alyson Weiner. “Red blood cells are the most frequently needed blood component, so this procedure allows donors to specifically give more of what patients need.”
According to the American Red Cross, a double red cell donation takes 20 to 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation, and uses a special machine.
Double red cell donors lose less fluid so they can expect to feel better afterwards, Alyson said. The Red Cross is specifically looking for O, A negative, and B negative double red blood cell donors, but people can sign up ahead of time even if they don’t know their blood type.
The Red Cross has a blood shortage every winter, and double red cell donations are important for maintaining the blood bank and making it possible for people to receive needed transfusions, Alyson said.
Sign up online at sunyupstate.givesblood.org. Or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the procedure.
The goal for the drive is 45 units. A high turnout of donors can help Upstate lower our hospital’s cost of buying blood for clinical needs.