Gift of life: Donate blood


When donating for natural disasters relief agencies, many things come to mind. Water is always an abundance as well as food. The one thing always in demand that’s never readily available is blood.

With hurricane season in full swing, local blood donation centers are working around the clock to secure as many donations as possible so they can be ready, if need be, to supply blood.

The problem facing these centers, especially in Northeastern Louisiana is the lack of available blood. Donations are not coming in as frequently as they should to maintain a level supply of blood.

Recently LifeShare spent a week at ULM encouraging students and faculty to donate blood.

Jeremiah Cameron, a junior prepharmacy major, like many students, had his first experience donating blood.

“This was my first time ever donating, and I felt good about myself because who knows maybe one day I may need a blood transfusion,” Cameron said.

Cameron first came across the donation busses while walking by the Student Union Building on campus. He and a group of students were approached by the nurses taking donations and asked if they’d be interested in helping save lives.

Although scared at first, the nurse’s persistence and promise that it’d be an act of kindness from his part convinced Cameron and many other students with him to sign up to donate.

Before donating blood, there’s some paperwork and consultation first time donors have to do in order for the center to make sure they are healthy enough to donate blood.

Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood. Of those eligible, less than 10 percent actually donate.

Taylor Ashworth, a P3 pharmacy student, sees the low blood supply as a big concern especially during hurricane season.

“Some people do not realize how often patients need blood from injuries or sicknesses,” Ashworth said.

“Donating only takes about 30 minutes. I feel like 30 minutes of my time is worth potentially saving someone’s life,” Ashworth added.

LifeShare takes walk in donations Monday through Friday all day and half the day on Saturday. Outside of those times, they have a list of where their donation busses are throughout the city on their website.