Blood drive returns Jan. 28 during supply crisis
by Emma Reeves | Staff Writer
January is National Blood Donor month and Southeast Michigan blood banks are in desperate need of donors.
Currently, one of the largest banks in the Midwest, Versiti Blood Center, is operating at a half-day supply level. Should there be more accidents or a greater-than-expected need for blood, a shortage could threaten the lives of people all over.
Current demand for blood is at 560 units per day, but with a lack of donors and those that are ineligible due to health standards, this is difficult to fulfill.
According to Cater, Public and Press Relations at Versiti Blood Center, up to 30% of blood donations come from high schools and colleges. This supply dries up during holiday breaks and times between semesters.
To encourage donation, Schoolcraft’s Student Activities Office is partnering with Versiti Blood Center to conduct a drive Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower Waterman level of the VisTaTech Center.
Donating can take up to an hour with an after-care station provided to improve any after effects. The feeling of giving something so vital to the community isn’t the only reward you receive after giving blood. Participants also get a $5 eGift-Card for attempting, even if unable to do so.
In addition, Versiti is also looking for student leaders to man the aftercare stations and assist in uptake. These students can earn community service hours and even get their foot in the door for employment opportunities.
The blood collected needs to be healthy with donors being excluded if pregnant, breastfeeding, taking certain prescription medications or are a potential risk for transferring blood-borne disease. In addition, minors under 16 need a permission slip before giving blood. Those 17 and above need a photo ID with their birthdate to participate.
For more information, please visit Versiti’s website at versiti.org/ways-to-give/blood-donation or call the Student Activities Office at 734-462-4422.