Red Cross hopes for high turnout at U blood drive

Anna Weggel

Blood banks are regularly low this time of year, and the University community can help ease the shortage today at the McNamara alumni center, a Red Cross official said Wednesday.

The third annual Red Cross blood drive at the University will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, in honor of Sept. 11, 2001.

“We need the blood,” Claire Paradise, a North Central Blood Services donor recruitment representative, said. “We’d like (people) to turn out.”

The University Academic Health Center is sponsoring the event, which has a goal of collecting 240 pints of blood, Paradise said.

Last year, she said, participants gave 202 pints.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, Deborah Zorn, a University Community Program associate at the Medical School, said.

“We’re continuing the efforts to engage the University community,” Zorn said.

Sarah Kluesner, a North Central Blood Services spokeswoman, said the University is one of thousands of sponsors for the Red Cross.

“The University is a very important sponsor, because they have been a supporter of the Red Cross for a long time,” Kluesner said.

Unless there is an emergency in another part of the country, she said, most local blood donations are used in Minnesota and surrounding states.

Although the group collected more than 200 pints last year, Paradise said, they could not use blood from 62 of the donors.

She said the most common reasons for blood being unusable are health concerns, such as a low iron count or international travel, she said.

To give blood, donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health, Kluesner said. They also will not take donations from people who gave blood in the past 56 days, she said.