Many times, one of the most difficult times of the year for blood banks is the “most wonderful time of the year” for others. The holiday season is a time when blood banks struggle to keep their inventory up which in turns means less life-saving blood for those that need it. That’s why this December the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Ontario, Ohio held their third ever blood drive!
Although some staff, faculty, and students have been donors in the past, not everyone at the campus had donated before. In fact, they generally have many first time donors who they hope go on to be regular donors. So, in order to prepare everyone for the drive, the campus invited Emily Allen, their American Red Cross Coordinator, to come by the week before and speak to the classes about donating. They generally hold blood drives in two of the low seasons for donations, during June and December, and also reach out to previous donors while hosting an open drive.
Their schedule was packed this December and they even had several walk-ins. Over the last three drives, they have been able to collect a total of 54 units. It may not sound like much, but that amount can potentially help save 150 lives! Ontario Campus Director Michelle Peters said about the blood drive, “It’s great to see the students and staff participate is an event that impacts our community in multiple ways. It’s a win-win for the students when they participate; they help the community and also get to witness the venipuncture process as well.”
This time around, the American Red Cross had a new process for completing the health questions: Rapid Pass. Rapid Pass is an online health assessment through the Red Cross website where donors can cut time off their wait to donate on the day of their scheduled donation. Many of the Ross donors used this new feature to move quickly through their donation process. Because of this, they were able to get more potential donors in outside of their original schedule. The next drive is already scheduled for June 9, 2016!