Donation drives dent Ohio’s blood demand

Sarah Cockrell

Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.

“There is no substitution for blood,” said Jenny Popis, communications specialist at the American Red Cross, Blood Services.

The demand for blood in Ohio is high because the shelf life of the three parts of the blood is not very long: Plasma can last up to one year, red cells last about 42 days and platelets last only five days. More than 900 blood donations are needed daily in Northern Ohio alone.

Every year, the American Red Cross holds several blood drives at Kent State.

The blood from these donations helps trauma patients, cancer patients, people who have been in car accidents and many others in emergency medical situations.

“We really appreciate Kent State students,” Popis said. “And we hope that their donations continue.”

Three different patients can receive a component of blood from one donor, she said.

Any person who is at least 17 years old, weighs 110 pounds and is in good health can donate.

Individuals with a new tattoo or piercing may donate if the tattoo or piercing was done at a state-licensed facility. If the tattoo or piercing was not done at a state-licensed facility there is a 12 month deferral period.

A donor is able to donate safely every 56 days or about six times a year. This gives the body enough time to restore its red blood cells between donations.

The American Red Cross recommends that a person drink plenty of fluids and eat at least two hours before donating.

The whole process, including the actual donation, should not take more than one hour. Each donor is prescreened and given a mini physical to see if they qualify to donate. A small booklet is also given to each donor to read. The process is just to ensure safety for the donor and the patient.

For more information about the American Red Cross and blood donations call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit

American Red Cross Blood Drives

All donors are asked to provide a photo ID at the time of donation.

  • Today: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Student Center, Room 204
  • Tomorrow: 1 p.m. – 7p.m. Student Recreation and Wellness Center
  • April 23: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Student Center, Room 203

Contact on-campus medicine reporter Sarah Cockrell at [email protected].