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The point of giving: annual blood drive returns to DSU

Stock art of doctor prepping patient for blood draw.

'Tis the giving season—but not all gifts come wrapped in ribbon.

Giving blood is vital year-round, but according to Teresa Bren, assistant professor of nursing at Dickinson State University, this is a particularly important time of year to give blood.

"(Blood banks) tend to lose their supply because donors are busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It's a big challenge to fill their schedules," Bren said.

The Nursing Student Association hosts an annual blood drive through United Blood Services to provide an opportunity for members of the community to give a truly essential gift: life.

"Every two seconds someone needs blood," Bren said. "Ninety percent of the population will need to use blood before the age of 72."

There are a lot of openings available for this year's blood draw, which will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Biesiot Activities Center. Those who would like to schedule a time to give blood can go online to https://www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&expand=718234&zc=58601.

This yearly blood drive has been ongoing since well before Bren started working at DSU.

"One of our missions is to give back to the community," she said. "So we do a minimum of two blood drives a year."

While student nurses will help staff the blood draw, the actual needlework will be handled by experienced professionals from Bismarck who work for United Blood Services.

"Our role is to gather donors, get a site for them to be located and that's it," Bren said. "I think the value is that (the students) see how many people come out and do donate. They get a lot of fun facts on how much you can do with a single pint of blood—I think it brings about some great education that way."

Though donors are encouraged to schedule in advance, walk-ins are welcome, Bren said.