Blood Drive sets record

Amanda Rogers
Staff Writer

   The University of Arkansas at Monticello held its bi-annual American Red Cross Blood Drive Sept. 13 in the University Center's Green Room. Sponsored by Student Health Services and assisted by the Medical Sciences Club and Knights, the event collected a record-setting 56 units of blood, exceeding the goal of 40 units by 40 percent.

    Last spring, the University set the former record of 50 units of blood. This number could have possibly been higher if the blood drive staff had brought more supplies.

  “At our spring American Red Cross Blood Drive, the staff was under-prepared for the overwhelming response of the university community,” Student Health Services director Terri Richardson said.

    A unit of blood is a little less than one pint or approximately 500 milliliters. The average adult has between eight and 12 pints, and can easily spare one. Donors spared 28,000 milliliters of blood, and received T-shirts as appreciation for their donations.

    This fall’s event featured the preparedness and organization of all involved. Both the Medical Sciences Club and the Knights had at least one club member present throughout the day to help with various tasks. The Student Health office and both clubs provided announcements of the affair to the school newspaper and posted them on the campus' Web site.

    “The efforts donated by Terri Richardson and the clubs were wonderful,” said Carol Farmer, South Arkansas's account representative for American Red Cross. They came so prepared and organized.”

    Blood is in constant demand. Donation of blood is sometimes overlooked and not thought of as urgent as college students become trapped in the every-day stresses. But blood is a vital part in helping the victims of hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan.

    The American Red Cross, the nation’s largest supplier of blood, began its blood drive program over 50 years ago. Since then, the program has grown in numbers and also the variety of services offered. Over 300,000 units of blood and platelet products were offered to hospital facilities in Arkansas and surrounding areas in 2003. The statistics might even seem unparallel: someone requires blood every two seconds, yet only 5 percent of those that can give blood actually do. Factors influencing donor eligibility include age, AIDS, allergies, diabetes, Hepatitis, medications, transplants, pregnancy, weight and height, just to name a few.

   The American Red Cross is helping to celebrate the first National Preparedness Month. Paired with Capitol Hill, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the group is calling attention to the responsibility of each and every individual to become prepared for emergencies. Emergencies can strike at any moment; it is critical to become prepared by practicing for fire drills, teaching children emergency numbers and assembling a non-perishable food collection.

   UAM contributed to National Preparedness Month through the University’s record-breaking blood donation. Giving blood is rewarding, knowing that one has sacrificed their time to help someone.

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