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Blood Drive collects 110 pints of blood

Brandeis’ annual blood drive collected around 110 pints of blood this year, though numbers will be approximate until next week. This is enough blood to save 330 lives, according to Blood Drive, the Waltham Group organization that arranges drives in conjunction with the American Red Cross. Blood Drive aims to collect 120 pints of blood per drive, said Khushee Nanavati ’19, a co-coordinator of the group. Throughout the three blood drives held last year, they collected 700 pints of blood.

Blood Drive organizes three blood drives throughout the academic year—one during the fall semester and two during the spring semester—aiming to collect as many pints of blood as possible as each pint can save up to three lives, or five babies,” according to the Blood Drive page on the Brandeis website.

Many students volunteer to help out with the blood drive. “As a volunteer you either sit with people after they donate and talk to them and make sure they sit for about 15 minutes before they leave, register people or take people from registration to the donation area,” said Sumana Shashidhar ’19 who volunteered at the drive.

“I started volunteering last semester because I was part of the Boston Strong committee for their Boston Strong blood drive, but I decided to because I think blood is one of the easiest and simplest ways to do a lot of good and you can help a lot of people from each drive,” Shashidhar said.

“I heard I can save three lives,” Sindy Sura ’19 said about why she decided to donate blood. Sura said she has plenty of blood so she could spare some for someone who needs it and it was an experience she wanted to try.

The blood collected from the drive “is used to help people that are awaiting surgery, people that are having transfusions, that are going through chemotherapy that need to replenish their red blood cells,” among other needs, according to Nanavati.

There are several requirements to donate blood, some of which include being over the age of 17, weighing over 110 pounds and being in general in good health and feeling well. The full list of specific eligibility requirements and restrictions are listed on the American Red Cross website.

To help with glucose levels, people are encouraged to eat sugar after donating blood. The Blood Drive supplied pizza, brownies, cookies, apples and juices to students donating this week.

The Blood Drive arranges a bone marrow registry drive every year as well, according to their website. Bone marrow transplants can be used to help those suffering from forms of leukemia, sickle-cell disease and more conditions. Volunteers at Brandeis assist with publicizing the drive and registering the donors.

The Blood Drive group has expanded their presence, organizing the 1st Annual Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive in April 2014.

In addition to collecting blood and facilitating registration into the bone marrow registry, Blood Drive hosted a raffle to raise money for those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013. The drive “was continued in [April] 2015, and is to be continued for the years ahead,” according to the Blood Drive website.

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