By Lillian Bowe
The need for O negative blood brought the United Blood Services (UBS) in Lubbock to Portales on Saturday and they were not disappointed with the response from donors.
Peggy Brown, one of the coordinators of the blood drive, said they had seen 14 people by noon and they had more appointments lined up. Brown estimated the total would be around 20 people.
“We always see a great turn out when we come here. People are always willing to give back to their community,” said Brown.
Brown said most of the donations were for whole blood, which is 500 milliliters of blood, but a few made a double red cell donation.
The double red cell donation collects double the amount red blood cells than what is donated with whole blood and the amount is counted as two donations.
“If we have 14 people who donated and two have donated red blood cells then we actually have 18 units of blood donated,” Brown explained.
Rita Ake was one of the donators who gave her red blood cells. Ake, from Portales, said she regularly gives blood because her family could need her blood.
“My mother is sick and my blood could be needed,” Ake said.
Ake’s mother use to donate blood, too, and Ake feels like she is helping out her community.
For a time Kaycee Craig did not think she could not donate blood because she is diabetic, but in January at another blood drive, she found that she could.
“I feel like I am needed and I am doing my part to help out,” Craig said.
Craig knows the importance donating blood as she is a nursing student at Clovis Community College.
“Now that I know I can donate blood, I try to do it regularly,” Craig said.
After donations are made, donors are given salty snacks and water to keep hydrated. Brown said it also helps prevent the donors from fainting after the blood is drawn.
According to UBS, donated whole blood can be processed and divided into four different components and one unit can help several patients.
The blood donated on Saturday will help build up the supplies at local hospitals, according to a press release by UBS.