Arkansas Blood Institute helps students register for blood drive. (photo by Sarah Dean)

Arkansas Blood Institute promotes “Stand Tall and Donate” theme on campus, students make an impact

March 6, 2024

By Sam Bennett, Staff Writer

On March 6, Ouachita’s very own Tiger Den was transformed into a hub of compassion and generosity as students united for a crucial cause – the campus Blood Drive under the theme “Stand Tall and Donate.” From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., students, faculty and staff gathered to contribute to this life saving effort, driven by the understanding that every two seconds, someone desperately needs blood.

Dr. Wesley Kluck, OBU’s campus physician, emphasized the significance of student involvement in this humanitarian initiative. 

“I personally have donated a gallon of whole blood, mostly when I was in medical school,” Kluck said. “I am O negative blood type, which means my blood can be received by persons with any other blood types. College students are ideal candidates to donate blood because of their general healthy and fit state and because most students do not take many daily medications.”

The theme “Stand Tall and Donate” resonated deeply with the student body, reflecting their commitment to selflessly serve their community. Each donor received a “Stand Tall” themed T-shirt as a token of appreciation for their contribution, along with a “Donor Eclipse” T-shirt referencing the upcoming solar eclipse in April. Furthermore, donors were also rewarded with one free entry to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock and a complimentary bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Blood donations play a critical role in sustaining life, serving patients undergoing surgeries, experiencing trauma or battling severe illnesses like cancer. “The movement of oxygen, nutrients and other materials to the body’s tissues depends on blood,” Kluck explained. “Blood donations can save lives for those who have lost blood due to trauma or surgery, as well as for those who have dangerously low platelet counts or severe anemia from specific illnesses or treatments, such chemotherapy for cancer.”

Ensuring the safety of donors and recipients alike, the Blood Drive orchestrated several screening procedures under the supervision of medical professionals. Prospective donors underwent medical history evaluations and physical examinations to guarantee their eligibility for donation. Donors were then escorted to the donation area, where one unit of blood, equivalent to 500 mL, was carefully extracted. Following the donation, donors were provided with juice and snacks to replenish their nutrient levels and energy.

Senior Addison White shares her perspective on blood donation, highlighting the impact of this simple act. “As someone who’s planning on going into the healthcare field, I think it’s important for me personally to do all I can to benefit people in medical need,” White said. “If I’m going to be someone who one day works with patients that may need a blood transfusion, it only makes sense that I practice what I preach. Giving blood is something that is a mild inconvenience to my day, but it could literally save someone else’s life if they need blood.”

The Blood Drive stands as a testament to the compassion and solidarity that lies within Ouachita’s student body, highlighting an unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the world, one donation at a time.

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