University students sucked dry

You may not get paid, but at least you can feel good and get some snacks afterwards.

The Canadian Blood Services held their quadrennial blood drive at the University of Calgary Tuesday and Wednesday, and students had the chance to help not only Calgary’s blood supply, but other, larger municipalities as well.

The flow of donors to the Mac-Ewan Hall Ballroom was constant, according to CBS Calgary.

“It’s been really good, really steady,” said Brenda Neufeld, pausing briefly from her hectic schedule as Charge Nurse. “The donor base here of teachers, students and staff is really good.”

Calgary is doing so well with blood donations that it is helping to supply other metropolitan centres like Vancouver and Toronto, according to Neufeld. And the U of C is one of Calgary’s major donors, which is why the CBS returns four times yearly.

“A lot of people think that they can’t donate, that they’ll faint,” said second-year Science student and O-positive blood donor Terry Gill. “But it’s not that bad. It doesn’t take 10 hours. I feel really good, knowing that we’re doing something to help other people.”

“Plus, [donors] get free cookies and pop,” Gill added.

Blood was welcomed from all people, provided they met certain health and lifestyle requirements. Donors must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, be in good health, and not have undergone certain procedures (body piercings, tattoos, immunizations, surgeries, dental visits) in the recent past. Screenings were performed by one of 10 registered nurses.

“The basic thing is, [donors] have to bring id, and they have to be in good health,” said Neufeld. “And they have to want to help people!”

CBS collected about 300 units of blood from the U of C over the two-day drive, not including deferrals, and including one from second-year physics student Dan Giang.

“I barely met the weight requirement,” said Giang afterwards, sipping a pop.

“I’ve been uncertain [in the past] about donating,” continued Giang. “I didn’t know what to expect. But [the nurses] knew what they were doing, and it gives Calgary a good rep.”

Second-year CMMB student Susan Sea was one of the 70 or so students who were “deferred,” meaning that for one reason or another, she could not donate at that particular time, but was encouraged to return at a later date.

“My iron level was just under 0.2,” explained Sea. “The nurse talked to me about stress and my diet, and she said I could donate the next time.”

Students can donate blood any time at 737-13 Ave s.w. Drop-ins are welcome, but appointments, which can be made by calling 541-4453, are encouraged.

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