UIS hosts Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center


Photographs courtesy of Savarnik Reddy Mareddy

A man getting his blood drawn at UIS by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center


UIS hosted a blood drive with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center on Wednesday, January 24.
6.8 million people donate blood each year. UIS students joined that number on Wednesday, opening their veins for a good cause. Every two seconds in the United States, a person needs blood. Despite this, only 10 percent of people in the U.S. actually donate. This is especially important after winters due to weather causing blood drives to be cancelled, a lower turn-out to drives that do happen, and an increase in accidents and injuries. Thus, creating a larger need for blood.
Though some people have a fear of giving blood, the procedure is entirely safe, not to mention quick and easy. A person can be in and out in as little as a half-hour. The whole process begins with registration, to help keep track of where the blood is coming from, followed by a questionnaire, these questions tell them whether the blood is safe and ensure that the supply is not tainted. After all the paper work is filled out there is a mini-physical where a professional checks your blood pressure, your temperature, and takes a sample of your blood. Once again, this process ensures that it is safe for you to donate blood and that your blood is safe for medical use. After the physical comes the donation itself, the easiest part of all. A slight pinch as the needle goes in whichever arm you prefer, then you simply sit and squeeze a stress ball every couple of seconds to keep the flow going. After a few minutes, you’re done. It is recommended that you leave the bandage on and dry for at least five hours afterwards, drink extra water, and avoid straining the arm you donated from for a day or so. It is a simple thing to do that can help so many.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is a non-profit organization, responsible for providing blood to 87 hospitals in the Mississippi Valley area. The MVRBC operates over 4,000 blood drives per year, along with 18 donation centers. The MVRBC takes in over 180,000 donations per year.