|▲ A Dongguk University student donating her blood at the Blood Donation House in Myeongdong.|
Mr. Kim went to Myeongdong, where he promised to have a date with his fiance. He arrived little bit early, so he went into the Blood Donation House nearby and decided to give his blood. While donating blood, a nurse asked Mr. Kim what kind of souvenir he wanted. He asked for a donation card with the same price as ordinary souvenirs. Although there was a bitter wind outside that day, his heart warmed, thinking that he could help patients whose lives were at risk and others who are in trouble by means of the donation card.
December is a month when it is getting cold, but we may gain the warmth in our relationships between people and many appointments with other acquaintances. Generally, people call December the month full of love. While blood donations may be a way of sharing love, there is not enough of it. The reason why there is blood shortage, especially in December, is that the main donating ages are teenagers and those in their 20’s and they are on vacation. According to a survey conducted autonomously by the Post, 83 percent of students at Dongguk University have never donated blood. To get many people taking part in giving blood, those in their 20’s should promote and lead all ages towards a desirable blood donation culture.
Even though people can feel a sense of reward by being helpful peple in need of blood, why are they not donating their blood? A recent survey by the Post showed 43 percent of the participants said that they do not donate blood because of indifference, 32 percent said that they have trauma from bad memories, and 25 percent said that they are hostile to the idea of giving blood.
Period: November 7th~9th, 2012
Target and headcount: Dongguk University students in their 20’s / 100 people
What is the main reason why you don’t donate your blood?
1. Don’t feel necessity
2. No one told me to do so
3. Worried about side-effects
4. Scared of thick injection needle
5. Had a trauma with blood donation
6. Frightened with blood
Indifference account → 1, 2, 7 (etc. Tiresome 4 people, Tired 3 people)
Trauma account → 5, 7 (etc. Tried, but dissuade by others 5 people)
Hostile → 3,4,6,7 (etc. Scared of unknown 3 people, Worried about side effect of recipient 1 person)
According to an interview with Kim Hye-lim, the senior officer of the Blood Donor Promotion Team at the Korean Red Cross Blood Service, the condition of blood donating in Korea is serious. When university students, who are now in their 20’s became older, they do not have enough time as they will get jobs. Also, souvenirs will not be necessary as much as when they were in their 20’s. For the reasons mentioned, interest in blood donations is decreasing. In contrast, when those in their 20’s are interested in blood donations, there can be many positive effects.
There are four positive effects when those in their 20’s actively participate in blood donations. First of all, patients can get transfusions much more safely since the frequency of taking pills and suffering from illness are much lower than their elders. Also, by donating blood, it is helpful to keep the body healthy by increasing metabolism and blood circulation, and so on when 20’s become elders, there will be more blood to go around as they have been giving blood consistently. Lastly, donators get a donor card and this can be used as a way to help neighbors. For example, when a neighbor, who has a hard time making a living, has an accident and needs a transfusion their friends can help them by the lowering the cost of transfusion.
There are efforts to create a desirable culture of blood donation for 20’s. For instance, there is Blood Donation Star K, which is for promoting blood donation in society. Moreover, some university students participate actively in campaigns such as writing a cheerful message towards blood donations, having year-end party with blood donations, and donating blood with an honorary ambassador.
There are other ways to help people by blood donation, and one of them is receiving a donation card instead of a free gift when donating blood. The donation card is a piece of paper that you can donate any amount of money that is set as a free gift; 3,500 won for whole blood and plasma, and 6,000 won for platelet.
There are efforts by organizations as well. The blood donation vehicle comes to Dongguk University once a month by way of the Han Ma Eum Blood Bank, and twice a month by the Korean Red Cross.
In 2012, blood donor cards at Dongguk University amounted to 678, recording 3,932 hours of volunteer hours. One student who donated the most blood via his donor card is, Woo Sung-hyun, who majors in Political Science & Diplomacy. He donated 144 hours of blood donation as a volunteer out of a total 152 volunteer hours. According to Woo Sung-hyun, blood donation is volunteering in an easiest and most convenient way. Moreover, he recommends blood donation with breaking the stereotype that blood donation would harm one’s health.
The Post had an interview of Dongguk Cham Saram Service. “Is there any benefit that Dongguk can provide students who donate their blood?” In response to this question, Kim Jong-ae said, “There is nothing to provide them but volunteer hours, but we wish students will donate their blood based on good will, not for purely selfish desires of rewards.” As a follow up question, the Post asked, “Blood Donation Supporters called ‘Donoods’ at Joong-Ang University had an inauguration ceremony on October 12th. Does Dongguk have such groups or meetings?” Kim Jong-ae replied, “Dongguk does not have such groups now, but we wish students would gather together to make such a supporters community.” Also, for those who hesitate to donate blood, Kim Jong-ae noted “A little sting you might feel when you donate your blood is a sign that you are saving others’ lives. Please participate in blood donations, could save others who cannot purchase it with money.”
There are people who donate their blood out of good will, but the majority thinks that others will do it. However, according to Kim Hye-lim, the senior officer of the Blood Donor Promotion Team at the Korean Red Cross Blood Service, by 2016, the population of blood donation will fall dramatically. If you imagine your close friends or even your family facing the threat of death, the decline in blood donations would feel like a serious crisis. It is important that people all choose to give blood, and this goes for 20’s too.
Ro Chang-hun, Kim Ku-won firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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