OneBlood hosted a blood drive on Apr. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Activities Center (SAC) North parking lot on the Big Red Bus. Kappa Alpha Order organized the event along with account representatives Kelly Closs and Jordis Smith.
Of the 17 participants that registered, 12 were able to give whole blood units. There were three platelet units also donated. There were four deferrals and one incomplete. A deferral can occur when a donor cannot give blood due to taking aspirin within 24 hours of donating or having irregular iron levels. An incomplete donation means that the donor met all of the preliminary criteria. Still, the donation itself could not be completed due to complications such as being under-hydrated or having a tired vein.
“There’s a need for both-whole blood and platelets,” says Smith. “The platelet bus can only hold two people at a time, for now, and there will always be fewer donors for platelets compared to whole blood because the turnaround time for whole blood is 20 minutes so you always get more donors that donate whole blood compared to platelets. We try to get as many platelet donors as we can, but given the time constraint of it taking an hour and a half, the number tends to be a little bit less.”
Smith said that for whole blood donors, the turnaround time was approximately 25 minutes. She also said that the approximate time for the platelet donations was an hour (minimum) to an hour and a half because collecting platelets is a lot more involved and requires more time than a whole blood donation.
Smith talked about the benefits of donating with OneBlood for whole blood donations and platelet donations. According to a Reddit post, participants can “receive a $10 eGift card, a free apron, a Covid-19 antibody test, and more.” Whole blood and platelet donors may receive different amenities depending on what they can donate.
Smith mentioned the expectations or goals of the drive for whole blood units and platelet units. They hoped to get a minimum of 15 whole blood units and four platelet donations. Closs said that these goals were based on what the hospitals need.
In addition to helping local hospitals, OneBlood is offering free COVID-19 antibody tests. Participants can access this information on this website to learn about the COVID-19 antibody tests and frequently asked questions.
One of the registered participants at the blood drive, Felicity Wray, told the Niner Times that she came to the blood drive because “I know that my blood is AB negative which is very rare. I always thought that because of the tablets I’ve taken over the years, that I wouldn’t be able to donate, but when I looked on the flyer that came through Facebook, it said that didn’t matter, so I thought I might have a go.”
Primary account representative Kelly Closs said that blood is sent around the Charlotte area to local hospitals, and the platelet donations are primarily used to help cancer patients.
Closs also said that Apr. 1 was the first time OneBlood had a Big Red Bus designated for platelet donations.
For any UNC Charlotte student looking to host a blood drive, Closs said that the process is simple. OneBlood will provide marketing products and that they only require a place to park the two Big Red Buses and have access to the restrooms.
OneBlood is hosting another blood drive with the UNC Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture on April 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.