Giving blood is ‘good for the body’

On Tuesday, February 13 Memorial Blood Centers hosted their bi-monthly MCTC blood drive in H. 1002.

MCTC is one of a handful of Minneapolis colleges that Memorial visits. Campuses like Augsburg, St. Kate’s and the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis are frequented, but their main focus is usually high schools around the city.

Tessa House, who has worked with Memorial Blood Centers for six years, five of which as a phlebotomist, said that giving blood is good for the body.

“It’s like getting an oil change. You draw some and let your body replenish and refresh itself,” House said.

Memorial visits our campus every two months because donors can go 56 days between donations. They also visit so frequently because people need blood.

“Blood can’t be manufactured or replicated,” House said. “Every one in three people need blood, and only 7 percent of the population actually donates. Most people don’t donate until someone they know needs it. The people that need blood range anywhere from patients who are post-minor surgery to leukemia patients.”

Memorial’s visits usually come with a units goal.

“The goal varies but it’s usually about fifty units. We usually leave with anywhere from thirty-five to forty,” House said.

To prepare for a blood donation, House suggests that people are “hydrated, have eaten a good meal, and have a valid form of I.D. Everything else, we do here.”

Some things that would prevent someone from giving blood would be their hemoglobin levels and sometimes their travel history.

“And if you are sick. You have to be three days symptom-free if you want to think about donating blood,” House said.

House said the best way to donate is to do a double red-cell donation. The process works by drawing two transfusable units from the donor. The phlebotomist removes the red-cells but returns the donor their platelets, plasma and some saline.

“You actually leave more hydrated, and you get counted from two donations,” House said. “So if eight donors visited and each did a double red-cell donation, the numbers would be counted as 16. Red cells are the least likely to be rejected by the recipient and very beneficial.”

For more information, including donor centers around the metro, visit Memorial Blood Centers online at