By Delaney Smith
Pre-health student clubs held a blood drive from Oct. 27 to 30 at the Miller-Keystone Blood Center in Campus Town. Seven total organizations organized the blood drive, which registered 30 donors and collected 26 units, or pints, of blood in total. Those 26 units have the potential to save 78 people.
The clubs present at the blood drive included the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the Occupational and Physical Therapy Club and the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). The drive was an effort aimed at fighting the national shortage of blood donors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We had the blood drive as a way for the pre-health clubs at TCNJ to support the community,” said Nataline Elmasri, a junior biology major who organized the blood drive as the vice president of AMSA. “Blood donations are always needed, and this event helped to encourage students at TCNJ to donate and support their community.”
According to the American Red Cross, blood donor turnout decreased 10% since August and their supply of blood has “dropped to the lowest it has been at this time of year since 2015.” This blood shortage extends beyond the Red Cross to almost all major blood donation centers and comes at a time when the Delta variant is surging. The pre-health club blood drive was meant to support the effort to increase the amount of blood donors in the wake of this blood shortage.
“I know that there are so many people out there who could use blood so I wanted to give back to them. This was my first time ever giving blood and it is for sure something that I would do again if given the opportunity,” freshman accounting major James Hession said.
Elmasri also said the ongoing pandemic inspired more students, like Hession, to donate in order to help reduce the national blood shortage.
“This is the first time that I am hearing about the national blood shortage, and it never really crossed my mind that this was something that was happening because of Covid-19,” Hession said. “So it just makes me feel a lot better about my decision to give blood.”
On top of the incentive to help reduce the shortage, students who donated were also offered a 10% off coupon for RedBerry, a frozen yogurt and smoothie shop located in Campus Town.
In the wake of the success of this blood drive, Elmasri is hoping to organize another pre-health club blood drive for the spring semester with the other pre-health organizations. For more information about the national blood shortage or about the process of giving blood, visit the Miller-Keystone Blood Center website.