Illinois Valley Realtors, IVCC host blood drive in response to shortage

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Hannah Smith, IV Leader Associate Editor

Illini Valley Association of Realtors and IVCC hosted an emergency American Red Cross blood drive Jan.19 in response to the winter blood and platelet shortage.

The blood drive, which was sponsored by IVCC and Illini Valley Association of Realtors, is one of three that IVCC hosts throughout the year.

The other two blood drives are sponsored by the Student Nurses Association and the Chem Club. The January blood drive is the most important because “the need for blood is tremendous”, according to Steve Swett, American Red Cross Safety Instructor.

The demand in January is higher than the supply, which is a problem because the Red Cross provides 40 percent of the blood that hospitals use.

“If the right blood type is not available it can detain someone from getting the surgery or procedure they need,” says Swett.

At blood drives donors have the choice to either make a regular blood donation, which is one unit, or they can make a double red donation, which has twice as many red blood cells.
In a double red donation, your blood is filtered through a machine which takes your red blood cells out and keeps your plasma and platelets to return to you. By doing this the donor can give two units of red blood cells.

Blood donation is usually around an hour long process, but the actual blood drawing itself takes around eight to 10 minutes.
Ardelle Duttlinger, IVCC sophomore and blood donor, says that it only takes about four and a half minutes when she donates.

After the blood is taken it travels to Peoria, then to St. Louis where it is tested and typed, and finally back to Peoria where it is distributed to hospitals.

Not only does donating help to save lives, it is also rewarding to the donors. Afterwards, they are treated to a meal, and come away with the knowledge that they have done a good deed.

“I started donating because everyone in my family does. People need blood and I get satisfaction from knowing I am helping to potentially save someone,” says Duttlinger.

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