Campus CultureCulture

American Red Cross club hosting Blood Drive on Feb. 3 amidst blood shortage

Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hiep

In the midst of a national blood shortage, Boise State’s American Red Cross Club will be hosting a blood drive on Feb. 3. 

As the demand for blood is at an all-time high, the on-campus club is teaming up with American Red Cross to encourage the community to give back to those in need. Join the drive on Thursday, Feb. 3, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Union Building (SUB) Hatch AB Ballroom. 

“It is important for people in general to donate because there is someone in need of blood products every two seconds,” wrote junior chemistry major Ashley Tran, the president of American Red Cross Club, in an email. “The demand for blood oftentimes outnumbers the supply, which can prevent people from getting the treatment they need to get better.” 

Normally contributing 40% of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross has now limited the distribution of blood to hospitals as a result of the ongoing blood crisis. 

Over 50% of high school and college blood drives have been discontinued as a result of COVID-19 and staff shortages. 

Due to the scarcity of blood, doctors are compelled to choose between which patients receive blood and which do not until more becomes available.  

Since blood has a shelf life of 42 days, it cannot be stockpiled. Therefore, the Red Cross has “less than a one-day supply of critical blood types.”

Thus, the demand for blood will never go away. 

“Hospitals are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease and individuals who are seriously ill who all need blood transfusions to live even as Omicron cases surge across the country,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of American Red Cross, in a press release. “We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors.”

Specifically, O-negative blood is needed the most, as it is considered the universal donor because of its lack of antigens.  

“For first-time donors, one perk is that you get to know your blood type which is important to know,” Tran wrote. “Additionally, there are occasional promotions that occur to encourage people to donate. For instance, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card by email if you donate blood, platelets or plasma between February 1-28, 2022.”

Nonetheless, all types of blood are essential to suppress the national blood crisis. 

Unable to attend this blood drive? Join future blood drives hosted by American Red Cross Club on March 3 and April 7 for another opportunity to donate blood.

American Red Cross Blood Drive
Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hiep
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