An arrow pointed toward the Student Centre doors with the words donate today written in red. Inside, a sterile smell hung in the air. Chairs, tables and cabinets cluttered the Presentation Room. Men and women sporting red and white shirts with the emblem Canadian Blood Services bustled through the room. A woman in a white shirt sat at a laptop, smiling and taking registrations.
Last Friday, a blood donor clinic set up in the Student Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone wishing to donate blood was asked to register at the front desk. Students were given a blood donor sticker, a bottle of water or juice, and a folder with information on the importance of donations.
First-time donors were only accepted if they were within the 17 to 61-year-old range and if they weighed at least 50 kilograms. Regular donors could be up to 71 years old. They couldnt have received any recent dental treatment, ear or body piercing or tattooing, or exhibit signs of a flu or cold. Moreover, donors couldnt have given blood within the last 56 days.
Before donating blood, Canadian Blood Services representatives asked students several questions and tested their hemoglobin (iron) levels with a simple pinch to the finger to determine eligibility. They also took students blood pressures and temperatures to ensure the good health of the applicants. Finally, they drew the blood. Donors had the option of lying down before leaving the clinic.
Only about half a litre of blood is drawn at one time, and the body quickly replenishes the donated blood. For more information about blood donations or to find clinics near you, visit www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2 DONATE.