Big heart of the College community: plasma donations to the Red Cross Flanders

By Iva Brajković

The Charity Group of the College recently launched another successful initiative, this time in collaboration with the Red Cross Flanders. Due to the great work of the Solidoares, students of the College had the opportunity to donate plasma and support a particularly noble cause in the midst of a global pandemic.

The Charity team planned to organise blood donations for some time, and so contacted the Red Cross Flanders. The Red Cross explained that, given the cancellation of so many surgeries due to Covid19, plasma donations are much in need at the moment. Plasma is the liquid component of our blood that is used not only to treat patients with certain medical conditions, like blood-clotting disorders, but also to produce life-saving medicines.

In total, 29 students and two academic assistants agreed to donate plasma, a turnout which was welcomed by both Solidoares and the Red Cross. Following the registration process, group appointments were organised for every College residence to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

The Head of the Charity team, Julia Jacoby, explained that apart from contributing to Belgian society in the most valuable way possible and strengthening the ties between the College and the local community, there was more to be gained from the initiative:

“We thought that many people maybe just don't think about the possibility to donate blood or they think that it is too complicated, and that if we organise it for them, this might even motivate them to do it more often.”

The procedure for plasma donations differs slightly from regular blood donations. The donors are attached to a machine that separates the plasma from the blood’s other components, which are then returned the donor. The procedure can take up to an hour, until 500 ml of plasma is retrieved. Afterwards, the students got snacks and drinks and were also able to choose between a small gift or free local transport tickets.

The Solidoares have said that they hope to have raised awareness about the importance of blood and plasma donations, and encourage students to participate regularly. Moreover, the procedures representants an excellent opportunity to do something good for society beyond monetary donations.

Our Charity team showed us once again how just a small act of kindness can make a difference. Thanks to the commitment of the Solidaores, we expect more great charity events in the future.