The local university blood center had a blood drive today at the Civic Center auditorium. Almost 300 people showed up, but about 50 were turned away for various medical reasons. Fifty others left because the lines were moving so slowly. The event concluded at 6 p.m., three hours after the scheduled close. It was a long day for everyone, administrators, nurses, and donors. But there were plenty of chairs and tables, and many people brought their own books, magazines, or newspapers.
The first thing the donors had to do, of course, was fill out the donor registration and screening form. When they finished filling out the form, they waited until a nurse called them to her desk. The average adult body contains 8 to 12 pints of blood. Donors can give one pint at a time. It takes your body 2 to 4 weeks to replace this amount. Most donors filled up the pint bag within 5 to 10 minutes.
Before leaving, the donors received a sheet of instructions including: Do not lift any heavy objects for 12 hours. Leave your pressure bandage on for 2-3 hours. Do not smoke for at least 30 minutes. Avoid alcohol for the rest of the day. Do not do any strenuous activity for 24 hours.
"I wish I could hug and kiss all the volunteers that are here today," said Martha, the blood center donor recruiter. "Many donors underestimate the importance of what they're doing. They think it is no big deal, but it is a big deal. Their blood is actually saving lives, helping other people to live. We cannot thank them enough for that, nor can the recipients."