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College students, faculty give blood

Ashley Charnley | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saint Mary’s offered students the chance to save a life during their blood drive in the Student Center Lounge Tuesday.

Olivia Barzydlo, Assistant Director in the Office for Civic and Social Engagement, helped coordinate the blood drive with Indiana Blood Center.

“We feel that it’s part of one’s civic duty to donate if possible,” Barzydlo said.

Saint Mary’s has been hosting the blood drive since 2005, Barzydlo said. The College began hosting the blood drives after the need for blood grew after Hurricane Katrina. The South Bend Medical Foundation helps to host the blood drives as well. The College works to host one to two drives a year. However, they are working to three or four drives on campus this year, she said.

The whole process takes about an hour. When students arrive at the drive they must fill out a confidential screening test and have their blood tested. Once the donor is cleared, then they are able to donate. The actual process of giving blood takes ten minutes. Then, the donor is asked to stay for another 10-15 minutes to rest and have a snack.

Barzydlo does not want students who are afraid of needles to be discouraged from donation.

“Although many people are afraid of the needle, me being one of them, it does not hurt as bad as you may think. There is a bit of a sting at first, but it is not too painful,” Barzydlo said.

The drives are generally well attended by faculty and staff, Barzydlo said. Last year’s drive had 72 people from the Saint Mary’s community in attendance. All of the blood donated to these drives is given to the Indiana Blood Center and the South Bend Medical Foundation will be given to Hoosiers in need and remain in Indiana.

Students donate for many different reasons. Some have family members who have been benefitted from blood transfusions and many others just like to be able to help.

“I’m a nursing major so I just feel like every little bit counts,” sophomore Alison Chudzinski said. She has donated twice at Saint Mary’s and five times in total.

Saint Mary’s will continue hosting drives through South Bend Medical Foundation and Indiana Blood Center throughout the year, so those of you who did not have a chance to donate will have more opportunities.

“Believe it or not, there is always a need for blood,” Barzydlo said. She said Saint Mary’s is hoping to maintain the high number of donors with their upcoming blood drives.