VGCC Nursing Students Hosting Blood Drive On Sept. 18

Monday, September 10, 2018
Logo for the American Red Cross

Members of Vance-Granville Community College’s Student Nurses’ Association are partnering with the American Red Cross to host a Blood Drive for the college campus and the community. The drive will be held in the Civic Center on Main Campus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

“The VGCC SNA is leading this initiative because our students know this drive can have such a lifesaving impact on many people,” said Heather Wilson, a nursing instructor at VGCC. “We want to show our community and the patients in need of blood just how much we can do to save lives.”

The Red Cross has more than 130 years of experience providing humanitarian aid – including more than 70 years of supplying blood to those in need, Wilson noted. “Each pint of blood we collect can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more,” she said. “What a great way to pay it forward and make an impact on people in our community and across the country.”

Everyone wishing to help the drive can schedule an appointment at the web address http://www.redcrossblood.org/give/drive/driveSearch.jsp using the sponsor code VGCC. Anyone with questions about the blood drive can contact Wilson at wilsonh@vgcc.edu or Erica Jastrow, VGCC’s department chair of nursing, at jastrowe@vgcc.edu.

The Red Cross has also started a new campaign called RapidPass, a new tool that allows blood donors to help save lives in less time. Completed on the date of the drive, RapidPass allows donors to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of home or office, reducing the time spent at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes.

The steps for RapidPass are: (1) visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass, (2) read the information, (3) answer the questions, and (4) print the pass or email it to yourself. RapidPass cannot be completed prior to the date of the drive, Jastrow noted. Donors who do not bring the printed pass with them to their donation or cannot show it on a mobile device will be asked to complete the questions again.

“RapidPass does not take the place of scheduling an appointment,” Jastrow said. “An appointment must still be scheduled. Saving lives is important to everyone, and everyone's time is valuable. We hope donors will make the most of it with RapidPass.”

In addition to the normal whole blood donation, the American Red Cross will also have two double red cell machines, noted as Power Red appointments. Double red cell donations from Type O donors and donors with Rh-negative blood types play an important role in maintaining blood supply levels, the Red Cross says. Donors need to meet slightly higher hemoglobin and body height/weight requirements in order to be able to give a double red cell donation. Double red cell donation takes approximately 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and allows the donor to give two units of red blood cells.

“You lose less volume when donating if you give via the double red cell machine because you are actually returned all your products except the red cells,” Wilson said. “This means you feel better after giving blood via a double red cell than a ‘regular donation’ and are not as prone to dehydration.”

Jastrow added, “We look forward to seeing students, staff and members of the community at the blood drive, and we encourage everyone to share this information with friends, family and others who also would be interested in helping us save lives.”