BYU-Idaho hosted its most recent American Red Cross blood drive June 3-12.
Every two seconds, a United States citizen is in need of blood, according to the Red Cross website.
“The American Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply,” according to the Red Cross website.
Brendon Harker, a student Red Cross blood drive manager, said a blood drive is held at BYU-I every semester.
He said he volunteered at several blood drives before becoming a blood drive manager.
“We have a ballpark goal of 60 donors, but we tend to not be able to fill up,” said Harker, a junior studying business management.
Harker said the blood drive at BYU-I used to operate for two full weeks and accommodate around 100 donors. He said the blood drives now operate three days a week for two weeks.
“This semester, we’ve been lucky,” Harker said. “For the first two days, we had 100 percent or better. We hit our goal.”
Redd, a sophomore studying construction management, said he decided to donate blood because he wanted to help other people.
Each blood donation can save up to three lives, according to the Red Cross website.
“I would tell other students to come and participate because it’s for a good cause,” Redd said.
Alicia McMurray, a freshman studying biology, said her first time donating blood was at a BYU-I blood drive.
“I’ve always thought that it was cool to donate blood,” McMurray said.
“More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day,” according to the Red Cross website.
Harker said most students can donate.
“For the average student, it’s about blood pressure, iron levels and just being healthy and not being sick,” Harker said.
Harker said it takes about an hour to donate, which includes a brief medical screening.
McMurray said donating blood is not a difficult thing to do.
About one pint of blood is given during a donation, which includes red blood cells, platelets and plasma, according to the Red Cross website.
Harker said many people are afraid to donate blood but that they should donate anyway.
“It’s a better experience than you think it will be,” Redd said.
Redd said all of the blood drive staff are kind and personable.
“I was a little nervous because it was my first time, but it was super cool,” McMurray said. “I enjoyed it.”
McMurray said other students should donate because it is a good opportunity to provide service.
“I think every little bit helps,” McMurray said.
Harker said students should eat healthily, get a good night’s sleep and drink a lot of water to avoid complications, prior to donating blood.
McMurray said snacks were provided to students after donating blood.
Harker said most of the blood that is collected at the BYU-I blood drives stays in Idaho.
“They try to keep it as local as they can,” Harker said.
Most donated blood is used for direct blood transfusions to those who urgently need it, according to the Red Cross website.
Harker said there is a misconception that blood donation is unhealthy for the donor, but that this perception is just a myth.
“It’s actually really healthy for you,” Harker said. “It helps flush out your body. Your body is able to produce that blood back within 24 hours.”
Harker said one benefit of the blood drive is to unite the community in a good cause.
“I know the blood I’m donating will help people,” Harker said. “It will make the difference between a person being able to have a healthy, happy life and them not being there anymore.”