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Donors happy they can give blood

Anisha Gouda, right, watches as her blood flows out of her arm through a tube to a plastic bag during Thursday’s blood drive at the Fayette County Courthouse. The phlebotomist is Anthony Kinartail.

News-Examiner

Probably the only person most disappointed about Thursday’s blood drive is Latisha Holly.

She had talked her fitness coach, Anisha Gouda, into donating blood but then was not able to give of her own. Her blood was a little anemic on Thursday; not enough iron in it. She promised to fix that before the next time she can donate.

Holly is a frequent giver to blood drives, going as often as she can. People can give every 57 days.

As she waited for Gouda to finish, Holly said her reason for giving is, “It’s kind of cool to know I’m helping people.”

Holly has been giving blood regularly since her first opportunity, which came when she gave at a high school blood drive when she was 16. Gouda said she hasn’t been a regular giver but had donated in high school and at least one time since.

Staff for the blood drive said they value having regular blood drives at high schools. They get more blood from high school students than at any other drives, said James Short, a phlebotomist and driver of the bus that brings the blood drive to Connersville.

“We try to instill in high school the need for them to donate blood,” said Tara Denney, team lead.

There is always a need for donated blood, she said, as people need it after accidents with severe injuries and during or after surgery and for many other uses. While any type of blood is accepted, there is a high need for O-negative, she said, because it can be used on most patients, regardless of their own blood type.

The local blood drive is sponsored by the Fayette County Health Department. Denney said the goal was to collect about 27 units of blood here, and that by mid-day the turnout had been good.

Blood drives like this are conducted all over Indiana by Versiti, formerly the Blood Center of Indiana. They can bring a self-contained bus, as in Thursday’s drive, or can set up in buildings, such as churches and schools.

Donors can be anyone in good health, age 17 or older (age 16 with a parent’s permission), with an appropriate photo ID. It’s best to make an appointment beforehand, as the donation process can take 20 minutes to an hour. Part of that is spent filling out paperwork; part is on blood testing to be sure the prospective donor is healthy; then there is actually sitting in a lounger and getting blood drawn; and then a recovery, period of eating snacks and resting for awhile.

For information, a schedule of upcoming blood drives and to schedule an appointment, visit the website, www.versiti.org.