Campus blood drive encourages students to become lifelong donors
Nursing students at UBC’s Okanagan campus are asking their colleagues to give the gift of life — for a lifetime.
As part of their Engaging in Leadership class, the fourth-year School of Nursing undergraduates are asking students to donate blood to Canadian Blood Services — and commit to being life-long blood donors.
“We hope that by supporting young adults to donate blood and making it an easy and positive experience, they will be more likely to donate in the future,” says student Kelsey Bowles.
The group is organizing UBC Okanagan’s first ever campus-wide blood drive competition, which takes place November 3 to 6 at Kelowna’s Canadian Blood Services Clinic, 1865 Dilworth Drive. All blood types are needed. However, a recent appeal has been made for type A and O blood.
Donors are eligible to give blood every 56 days while the shelf life for blood is only 42 days, says Bowles. She suggests that if people donate regularly, starting at a young age, UBC students can help Canadian Blood Services maintain a supply for local hospitals and support the national blood system.
“We decided to start the inter-faculty blood drive because we know that many university students love friendly competition,” says Bowles. “We want to see how many people from each faculty donate. The faculty with the most donations will be the winner.”
UBC students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to book an appointment at the campus booth which will be located in the foyer of the Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research next week. Up to two units of blood are used for one hip surgery, five units for a cancer treatment, and up to 50 units of blood can be used for patients in a motor-vehicle accident.
Staff at Canadian Blood Services will track how many donations come from UBC.
“As fourth year nursing students we have learned a lot about encouraging patients to make healthy lifestyle choices. For this class we wanted to focus on helping people our own age make choices that make them feel good and help other people,” says Bowles.
“If you start donating at the age of 20 you could potentially make well over 100 donations before the age of 40. There aren’t many things you can do in such a short amount of time that will save a life.”