There were 76 whole blood donors at the September Blood Drive in St. James this past week. Volunteers wanted to thank everyone who gave the gift of life last Thursday and Friday.
The process of giving blood takes an average of eight minutes – depending on how much water a donor has drunk throughout the day and the size of the vein. One unit of blood is about 450 ml, or just under a pint and can save up to three lives.
After donation, donors can enjoy cookies made by the Eagles Ladies and snacks donated by the Keebler company. All donors are also given fluid to rehydrate.
Also taking place in the September blood drive was double red cell donation. There were a total of 20 double red donors, making the total units of blood given in St. James this September 115.
According to the Red Cross website, "double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning your plasma and platelets to you."
Red blood cells are the most frequently used component of blood and are therefore some of the most important components of blood. Almost every transfusion taking place uses red blood cells. Double red cell donation allows for twice the amount of red blood cells to be removed as compared to normal donation, and only takes about twenty minutes longer.
Double red cell donors can give blood every four months. People who donate blood through the double red cell machine get all of the liquid of their blood returned to them, which makes them feel a bit more hydrated after giving. Ask about double red cell donation the next time you donate!