Michael Free Jr.
The Cascade Regional Blood Services truck pulled up in front of the College Center for a blood drive Feb. 4.
CRBS has been conducting blood drives on the Pierce College Puyallup campus since 1994, with a total of 71 blood drives resulting in 2,829 volunteers who donated blood.
The response from students this time was exceptional, officials say, with 53 people donating, 21 of them being first time givers.
Rita Wells, community relations specialist for CRBS, was more than pleased with this year’s numbers.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from Pierce College Puyallup, as we always do,” Wells said. “We are extremely grateful for our blood drive sponsor groups, Student Programs and Rainier Nursing Club. They do an amazing job.”
CRBS, which has been around since 1946, supplies blood to MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System hospitals and clinics in the Pierce and King counties.
“(The mission) is to provide a constant, safe, cost-effective supply of blood, blood components and other related services to the communities we serve,” Wells said.
Students may be squeamish to donate blood or worried about possible dangers of blood diseases or infection, but Wells wishes to reassure these students about the safety of the blood giving process.
“Donating blood is completely safe,” Wells said. “We are regulated and inspected by the FDA since we are considered a drug manufacturer. All equipment is sterile, one-time use and we have extremely high standards that we meet.”
Wells commented that there are many reasons to donate blood. One of those reasons is the chance to save lives. Every person’s blood is unique and could hold a possible cure or antidote to a disease that they weren’t aware of.
“There are hundreds of patients every week in our community who rely on us to provide the lifesaving blood they need. We rely on volunteer blood donors to meet that need,” Wells said. “Every three seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, and 100 percent of the community blood supply comes from volunteer blood donors.”
Students shouldn’t worry about missing an opportunity to give blood. CRBS will be back soon enough to conduct another blood drive. The Pierce College Puyallup blood drives have always been big successes on both sides.
“As a non-profit organization, everyone at CRBS is focused on efficiency. The large number of generous donors at Pierce College makes for a very productive drive and provides tremendous support for patients at hospitals in our community, like MultiCare Good Samaritan,” Wells said.
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