Fall blood drive returns to Leesville

Jillian Ashley, a sophomore, giving blood for the first time. Ashley donated 3 pints which added to the 96 total pints of blood that were collected on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy of Madison Hoffmann)

The semi-annual blood drive, run by the American Red Cross, set up shop for the Fall drive on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The normal gym scene of bouncing basketballs and spiking volleyballs was replaced with donor cots, screening areas, snackbars and a whole lot of blood.

In just one day, 96 pints of blood were collected from faculty and students, impacting up to 288 people who will receive the donations. 112 individuals attempted to donate but 10 of the them became deferred due to various reasons such as low iron, from out of the country, not feeling well, etc.

The donor process starts off with registration and a health history check/mini-physical. After clearing the screening, the actual donation takes place. Once the blood is collected, the process finishes up with snacks and soda.

Donors have the option of a whole blood donation or a double red cell donation. A whole blood donation is the most common option. This process takes about 8-10 minutes. Double red donation takes around 30 minutes because it is done with the help of an apheresis machine which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor.

Many individuals were first time donors, including Anna Woodhouse, a senior. “I feel like if I can make a difference then it’s important. I have a lot of friends doing it and the little girl I nanny for has had three blood transfusions in the past year so if I can help give back to the people who gave to her then I want to do it,” said Woodhouse.

Other individuals who donated were not new to the process. Emily Roesel, a senior, gave blood for the third time after donating in the Fall and Spring drives last year. “The best part is that you’re saving lives with just three pints of blood. The finger prick is the worst part,” said Roesel.

If you missed on out on the Fall blood drive, make sure to sign up for the Spring drive! What could be better than saving lives, missing class and getting snacks?


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