Blood shortage prompts call for donors

College blood drive exceeds goal

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For Wilson Community College student Sena Rogers, giving blood is a basic duty.

Rogers, a dialysis tech student, contributed one of the 28 pints donated in the WCC Student Government Association blood drive for the American Red Cross at the college’s Lee Technology Center on Wednesday.

”I love to save lives,” Rogers said. “It makes me feel alive. I know people are out there that would do the same thing for me.”

Melody Parker-Eatmon of Wilson, a career counselor in student development, also donated.

“There’s a definitely a need in the community and it saves lives, so anything I can do to help,” Parker-Eatmon said.

Wilson resident Mia Winstead dropped by to make her contribution during the lunch hour.

“They always need it, so I give when I can,” Winstead said.

That was the sentiment expressed by Will Webb of Wilson, who works nearby at 3C Store Fixtures.

“It is a good way to give back and to give to those in need,” Webb said.

The procedure was very quick and without issues for Webb, who frequently gives blood.

“That was my 38th unit,” Webb said. “I have family members who have given blood. I thought it was a good thing that they do, so I do it too.”

Bryson Schmidt, account representative for American Red Cross Blood Services, said the drive exceeded its goal of 22 units, but a shortage of blood donations continues.

“Right now we are in an emergency need and all donors are needed — and that’s every blood type,” Schmidt said. “We saw a tremendous decline in collections last week due to the July Fourth holiday with people being on vacation, out of town and off work. That is what we are trying top make up for now.”

Schmidt said the Red Cross is distributing blood to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

“Patients are at risk of delayed treatment and surgeries, so we are trying to catch up and make sure that there is blood on the shelves ready to go,” Schmidt said.

The O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative are actually eligible for a Power Red donation, which is a donation that counts for two pints toward the goal at the blood drive.

“The O positive is the most common blood type and then the O negative is the universal donor, meaning that anybody can receive that blood,” Schmidt explained. “That’s especially important for patients who come into the emergency room for any trauma issues they are having, when the doctors don’t really have time to test what blood type they are, they just grab the O negative.”

There are several blood drives coming up in Wilson County in the next two weeks.

Schmidt urges donors to make appointments if they can by calling 1-800-733-2767, visiting www.redcrossblood.org or using the Red Cross blood donor app.

Rapid Pass, a process allowing blood donors to complete a required reading of instructions and health history questionnaire online, can shorten the in-person donation process by about 15 minutes.

Upcoming Blood Drives

• Today — 2-7 p.m., New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 5142 N.C. 58

• Friday — 3-7 p.m., Marsh Swamp Original Free Will Baptist Church, 6664 Rock Ridge School Road

• Monday — 3-7 p.m., Contentnea Volunteer Fire Department, 4146 N.C. 42 W.

• Tuesday — 1-6 p.m., Raleigh Road Baptist Church, 4150 Raleigh Road Parkway

• Wednesday — 2-7 p.m., First Christian Church, 207 Tarboro St. NE

• July 23 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., BB&T, 223 W. Nash St.

• July 23 — 3-7 p.m., Winstead United Methodist Church, 1407 Tarboro St. SW