By Lauren Buckley
Dedicated student coordinators of Alpha Phi Omega, the University’s co-ed service fraternity, collaborated with the Red Cross of Union County, Pa. to organize the University’s first ever two-day blood drive on Tuesday and Wednesday. There were 79 student donors that participated on Tuesday and 93 on Wednesday, all with the goal of providing patients in need with one of the most valued resources in the health field: blood.
“We had a better turnout Wednesday than we did on Tuesday,” Stephany Musgrave, Account Representative for the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania Region, said. “I think that fact that the career fair was taking place on Tuesday did have an impact on that but overall we collected more blood in the two day blood drive than we do on a one day blood drive so I think it worked better.”
Over the course of two days, 156 pints of blood were able to be collected. Of those 156, 58 whole blood pints and 9 for 18 double red cell pints were collected on Tuesday (totaling in 56 pints) and 65 whole blood pints and 8 for 15 double red cell pints were collected on Wednesday (amounting to 80 pints in the second day of the drive). These 156 pints have the potential to save 468 lives. In addition, there were 32 first-time donors over the course of both days.
“My dad’s a doctor so I’ve always been told about the importance of donating blood, especially in times of crisis. Also, I aspire to go into the field of public health, so organizations like the Red Cross that do relief work are particularly interesting to me,” said Katie Janda ’13, head coordinator of the blood drive and member of Alpha Phi Omega.
The event took place in Larison Dining Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. After receiving all of the necessary health clearances, donors were directed to give either a whole blood donation or a double red cell donation, a more complex procedure that allows qualified donors to safely give two units of red cells. Donors were rewarded by an assortment of sweets and juices after their donation to replenish their blood sugar. For years, University students have been donating generously to Red Cross blood drives. They have been responsible for one-sixth of the county’s donations. From 2005-2011, the Red Cross has collected 4,201 units of blood from this campus, helping to save up to 12,603 lives.
“The American Red Cross and the patients we serve really appreciate the support of the Bucknell community in collecting blood on campus. As a person who has family members who have received blood donations, and as a volunteer with the American Red Cross and a life-long blood donor myself, I commend the campus community,” said Nancy Libbey, Volunteer Coordinator for the Red Cross Chapter of Snyder, Union and Northumberland Counties.
There is always a need for blood donations. According to the American Red Cross, the nation’s largest supplier of blood, 44,000 units of blood are needed every day in order to meet the needs of people in the United States.
“Winter is upon us and so is the need for blood. Currently, the blood supply is low, which has resulted in a critical need for all blood types. To prevent the blood supply from dropping even further, we are encouraging donors to donate as soon as possible,” said Stephany Musgrave, Red Cross Account Representative for the Northeastern Pennsylvania region.
The Red Cross urges all eligible students and faculty to consider donating in the next blood drive on campus which will be held on Wednesday, April 11th from 10AM to 4PM. Donors must be 16 years of age or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. For more information about becoming a donor, visit www.redcross.org.