Red Cross needs blood donations

Graphic explains how human blood types affect donating and receiving blood; new research, led by a Danish scientist, shows there could be a way to make all blood types safe for patients.

The American Red Cross blood drive is coming to Eastern Michigan University this Sept 21-23. The blood drive will be held between the hours of noon and 6 at the Student Center in room 300.

Blood supplies in Southeastern Michigan are at emergency low levels this year. The American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan is asking everyone who is eligible to donate blood this fall.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in over two years,” said Gerry Abejuro, regional representative of the American Red Cross for southeastern Michigan.

“Our efforts in collecting blood this summer were valiant and for the most part successful. We were able to replace most of the pints we lost from the Big Three companies, but the need for the hospitals overtook our collections,” Abejuro added. The Red Cross is hoping this will all change with the blood drive coming to Eastern next week.

According to Tanya E. Smith, donor resources development manager for American Red Cross, “The Southeastern Michigan American Red Cross supports patients at 43 hospitals in five counties and approximately 900 units of blood are needed each day.”

Oakland University is also a contributor to the Red Cross blood drive.

“The reason for the shortage is a lack of donors and that’s why we need to collect at least 90 pints each day on September 21st, 22nd and 23rd,” Abejuro said.

With several blood types at emergency levels, it is crucial more donors participate in the upcoming blood drive. The Red Cross is recommending prospective donors log on to www.givelife.org with the sponsor code emu, to sign up on edonor. There, you will need to create a profile. Afterward, you will be able to schedule an appointment for your blood donation by clicking the time that best fits your schedule. If you keep your appointment, you will receive a free T-shirt.

The Red Cross is hoping more students, faculty and student organizations will participate and become more involved with this fall’s blood drive. Many students are willing to lend a hand, but the Red Cross is hoping there will be enough.

“I feel compelled to donate because I understand the need for blood. I’m a universal donor as well, so I know my blood is particularly in demand,” said Maxwell Czerniawski, a senior at Eastern.

“However, I have some qualms with donating to the Red Cross. As I understand it, they don’t accept donations from sexually active homosexual men, due to ‘increased risk.’ I take issue with that, but understand the need for blood. I would feel much more comfortable donating if that policy didn’t exist.”

The Federal Drug Administration ruled it was too high of risk to allow sexually active homosexual males to donate blood to the American Red Cross.

Another student at Eastern offered his donation as well.

“Yes of course I would participate in the Blood drive,” said Mike Richardson, a third-year student. “The Red Cross is a wonderful organization that has been helping people all over for a very long time. If you’re looking for some way to help with some charity—why not pick the Red Cross and save a life? Donating blood doesn’t hurt and afterwards you feel really good about being able to help someone in the near future.”

Robert Nemcik, a sophomore at Eastern, also enthusiastically offered to donate his blood.

“I would definitely stop by if I had the time. My aunt got into a car accident and lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion to live through that—same story with my cousin. Several of my family members have been saved by blood transplants—I want other people to feel that good feeling I felt,” Nemcik said.

The blood drive that will be held at the Student Center in room 300 will have staff available to answer any and all questions that one might have regarding donating. Please feel free to ask before donating if there is any apprehension. Also, prospective donors can get many of their questions answered at www.givelife.org.


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