Plenty of blood donation opportunities coming upFor many people, the idea of giving blood sends them running in the opposite direction.
By: Mikayla Cota, The Republican Eagle
For many people, the idea of giving blood sends them running in the opposite direction.
The reason for this phobia is what phlebotomist Scott Hubber of St. Paul called “white jacket syndrome.”
“It is perfectly understandable for people to be slightly uncomfortable,” Hubber said.
“When someone mentions giving blood, images of men in white jackets and huge needles come to mind,” he explained. “However, almost 100 percent of the time the needles are not as big as people imagine, and the Red Cross workers are trained to make people who do give blood as comfortable as possible.”
Despite the alleged “white jacket syndrome,” many people turned out to donate in August when the Red Cross came to United Lutheran Church and set up a mobile unit at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing.
“Red Wing is a good giving town,” head nurse Reina Gibson said.
Many times the Red Cross advertisement rests on the shoulders of two women, Sylvia Buermann and Sandy Luhman. These two ladies have worked with the Red Cross for a number of years, and both have many responsibilities.
“We register the returning donors, answer questions, call registered donors telling them about the drive, and we advertise to local businesses,” Luhman said.
One thing that distinguishes Red Wing from many other towns is the amount of regular blood donors. Sheila Dicke, a Red Wing resident, recently got back to donating blood because she wanted “to give back to the community,” Dicke said.
“It is nice to see all ages come to the blood drive,” she added.
When Dicke had begun donating, she was surprised that she didn’t feel the needle when she gave blood. She was also encouraged by how comforting the staff was.
The next blood drive at United Lutheran Church will be Dec. 6 and 7.
Hubber, after 3 1/2 years as a phlebotomist, had a few comforting words of advice for any that are undecided about donating blood.
“Many people don’t know that if they give blood once, they can save three lives. Also, donating is like exercise, it is much more enjoyable if you do it with someone,” he said. “The buddy system works wonders if people are nervous about giving blood. They can come with someone and hold each other’s hands, eat snacks together and just give each other encouragement.”