The United Blood Services is a non-profit organization providing blood and blood products for local area hospitals throughout the United States. First founded in 1943 as the Salt River Valley Blood Bank in Phoenix, AZ, the organization has grown to serve more than 500 hospitals in 18 states. More than 25 million community members in these states depend on the United Blood Services to provide life-saving blood and byproducts. Each year the UBS collects a safe supply of more than a million units of red blood cells.
Eastern New Mexico University students and faculty had the opportunity to participate in a United Blood Services drive last week. A team of 12 employees came to Portales to run the blood drive. This team primarily commutes through southwestern New Mexico, covering towns from Carlsbad to Clovis. They travel Tuesday through Friday to different universities, high schools, and businesses. The average blood donation is one pint, which is referred to as a unit. This year the UBS collected 43 units at ENMU.
Although the thought of donating blood may not be appealing, there are many reasons it’s an important and beneficial practice. One blood donation can save up to three lives. Every two seconds in the United States, a person is in need of donated blood. According to the American Red Cross, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, for a total of 30 million transfused blood components each year.
When students were asked why they were donating blood, the number one reason was a desire to help others. Some students had more personal reasons, such as sick relatives who inspired them, or even having been a blood recipient in the past. Even severely needle-phobic students donated in the hope that their donation could save