Over 350 people attended DCU’s blood donation clinic, which took place in The Hub last week.
The pop-up clinic, which takes place twice a year, is part of a long-running partnership between the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) and DCU Students’ Union. The IBTS arranges these clinics with the majority of third-level institutions across Ireland to encourage young people to donate blood.
The clinic ran from October 6th to October 8th, with 365 students attending. Around a third of students who turned up were ineligible to donate, mostly due to lifestyle factors.
Stephen Cousins, a manager from the IBTS, stressed the importance of links with college campuses.
“Having a clinic on campus means it’s convenient for potential donors but also increases our presence – hopefully bringing the idea of blood donation to the forefront of young people’s minds,” said Cousins.
“In the future, we hope to further develop our links with college campuses, possibly with ideas like a blood society for each campus that could promote and encourage potential donors,” he continued.
More than 3,000 blood donations are needed in Ireland every week, with one in four of us needing a blood transfusion in their lifetime.
At present, only 3 per cent of the Irish population donates blood regularly. The IBTS is keen to develop links with young people in the hopes that they will become lifetime donators.
To be eligible to give blood, you must be aged 18 to 60 and weigh between 50kg and 130kg. Smokers should wait at least an hour after their last cigarette before donating. Like the majority of blood donation services, the IBTS does not accept blood donations from men who have had sex with other men.
Rachel Hoey, a second year student, said: “It’s an easy process and because I have a universal blood type, I know it will help a lot of people.”