March 18, 2014

Three Culver Military Academy first-classmen helped the American Red Cross conduct a blood drive on campus March 13. Colin Raver (Bartlett, Ill.), Khaleef Rehman (Naperville, Ill.), and Raymond Harley (Crete, Ill.), all from Battery A, worked on the blood drive for their senior service project.

The blood drive took on an added importance when severe weather through January and February forced the cancellation of earlier blood drives across the nation. The American Red Cross released information saying it must now collect about 15,000 units of blood every day to help patients nationwide.

Junior Erin Luck (LaPorte, Ind.) gives a big thumbs up while donating.

Junior Erin Luck (LaPorte, Ind.) gives a big thumbs up while donating.

The Culver Academies blood drive saw 75 people offer to donate. A total of 67 units of blood were received. Wellness instructor Mike Chastain’s records show this was the 27th consecutive year the Academies has hosted a blood drive in March and the 36th blood drive overall. Academies’ blood drives have collected 3,026 units of blood over that time.

Five people were “double red donors.” According to the Red Cross website, a double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation except that a special machine is used to safely collect two units of red blood cells while returning the plasma and platelets to the donor. Red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component and are needed by almost every patient requiring a transfusion. The donor must meet certain criteria to be eligible.

Locally, the Red Cross blood program supports patients at more than 60 hospitals across 52 counties. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Donated blood helps accident victims, premature infants, those being treated for cancers or blood disorders, and make routine surgeries possible.

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