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How to save a life

Blood samples were collected at the Community Blood Center drive Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Swinney Recreation Center,

The Community Blood Center held a blood drive at Swinney Recreation Center on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

John Reyes, the collection supervisor, travels around with nurses and their team to different places and ensures the paperwork is all in order.

“They picked UMKC because it was a large student body and had a lot of blood,” Reyes said.

When one person donates blood, it can save three lives.

Reyes specifically asks for donors who have type O negative blood to donate via the Alyx machine, which donates blood to leukemia patients.

“You always want to give back, because you don’t know if you [will ever be] in the same position and [need] some blood,” donor Brandon Wilson said.

“You should do it, you will be saving three lives,” donor Emalea Black said.

Some people say they are scared of needles.

“It’s crazy, you should suck it up and do it,”Black said.

Most students saidthe experience was painless. There are only five steps to donating blood: bring in a picture ID, give your medical history, take a mini physical, perform the donation and, of course, eat the snacks provided.

A girl swabs her arm after donating blood.

The entire process takes approximately 1 hour. There is no charge for donating. The staff recommends a good night’s sleep, eating a regular meal and drinking plenty of fluids beforehand.

The Community Blood Center needs 580 donors each day to meet area hospital needs. They send out almost 3,000 units of blood components each week to treat patients in over 75 area hospitals. There are plenty of other opportunities during the year to donate and there are also local Community Blood Centers all over the Kansas City area where you can stop in and donate.

For more information on the Community Blood Center visit www.savealifenow.org.

krucker@unews.com

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