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UWRF hosts blood drive

November 8, 2007

Beginning Nov. 14, UW-River Falls will unite with the Red Cross to do its part in helping those in need. The tri-annual blood drive will be held in the UWRF University Center on Nov. 14-15. The station will open at noon until 6 p.m. for both days. This is 28th blood drive held at UWRF, but this will be the first time that Health Services is in charge of organizing the project. 

Planning for this month’s blood drive began months ago when Health Services met with the Red Cross. The Red Cross organization took care of advertising and creating publicity to inform students and River Falls community members of the upcoming drive. For this particular blood drive, potential donors are given the opportunity to register online, which will allow them to register earlier.

Every year, UWRF organizes three blood drives in the months of February, April and November. On average, November has proven to be the strongest month for participation. In total, there have been 2,784 blood donations and an average of 103.11 donations per drive.

Last year, the UWRF blood drive ranked second in blood drive participation as far as colleges and universities were concerned. A total of 554 people participated. With impressive participation numbers in the previous years, Health Services has set attainable goals for the upcoming drive. Their hope is to collect 135 units on Wednesday’s drive and an additional 130 units on Thursday.

Currently, registration numbers make predictions for a successful blood drive. Already, 140 people are registered for the first day and 120 people for the following day. A Health Service employee, Stacy Dekkers said that spots are filling up at a fast pace. She also said that usually the blood drive is open to walk-ins but with early registration numbers so high, allowances for walk-ins will be limited. 

Not everyone meets the requirements to serve as a blood donor. Some issues that may arise in an incapability to donate is a high or low blood pressure, an insufficient amount of iron in the bloodstream, or if one is unable to meet the weight requirements. Dekkers said that if people are unsure if they meet the aforementioned requirements, they can take part in a pre-screening test by calling 1-800-426-2164 ext. 3885.

According to Dekkers, one person’s donation has the potential to save three other lives.

“It’s an easy way to make a difference,” Dekkers said.

Although Dekkers is helping with the blood drive, she will also experience the drive from a different perspective. She will actually be donating blood for the first time. If anyone is leery about needles or blood, Dekkers can relate. She urges people to still consider donating.

“I’m not going to look when they’re taking the blood, and I’m definitely bringing a friend,” Dekkers said.

Interested donors can register online at http://www.membersforlife.org/midamerica/mobilesch/bdc_sc.php?id=4.