A large blue and red motor home was parked at the Kenai Peninsula College residency hall Wednesday. As the power source was humming outside, three people inside were donating blood to help fellow Alaskans.
Kenai Peninsula College hosted a blood drive Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the KPC Dorm Parking lot at 949 East Poppy Lane.
The Blood Bank of Alaska Life Mobile traveled from Anchorage to get donations of all blood types that will be used throughout the state.
Julia Johnson, medical receptionist with the KPC Student Health Clinic, said 67 staff, students and community members signed up to donate before Wednesday and several walk-in donors also participated.
“It is a great way for the college to give back to the community,” Johnson said. “It is also a great way for students to get involved.”
Johnson said Wednesday’s date was set last spring and she was glad to see so many willing to help. Wednesday’s event was the first blood drive through the KPC Student Health Clinic and she hopes there will be more in the future.
“We are hoping it will become an annual or semi-annual event,” she said. “Blood donation is a huge thing. One in three Americans will need a blood transfusion.”
According to the Blood Bank of Alaska’s website, donated blood goes to 21 hospitals across the state. The Blood Bank of Alaska collects more than 20,000 units each year.
Inside the Life Mobile, the space is designated into rooms for screening, areas for technicians and the middle area for donors to sit back, put their feet up and help Alaskans in need with their donations while looking out the windows and relaxing.
But before donors gets to sit in the donor seat, they must go through the screening, questions and a check of blood pressure, temperature and Hematocrit blood test.
While many will go through the screening process, not all will leave having donated. But Johnson said it is worth the effort.
“It is a little more complicated than just walking in,” Johnson said.
Donors also need to make sure they sleep well the night before, eat a well-balanced breakfast and drink plenty of water before the process begins. Identification is also required by those wanting to donate.
“Those are the typical things you do to take care of your body,” she said.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday the Life Mobile had collected 28 donations from KPC students, staff and other community members.
“It has been very successful,” Johnson said.
Reach Sara Hardan at firstname.lastname@example.org.