WU hosts emergency blood drive

Richard Kelly

With the Topeka Community Blood Center in a shortage of Type O blood, it looked to Washburn for help. This past Monday, a blood drive was sponsored by the American Medical Student Association and Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society.

The event took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lower level of the Petro Allied Health Center. Students, faculty and community members turned out for the event. Ninety-three donors registered and gave blood when the event was through. This came to 71 units of blood, which Kathy Belanger, a Recruitment Representative for Topeka Community Blood Center, said could help up to 142 people.

The reason it was important for the center to increase its blood supply was mainly because of the shortage of Type O blood. Also, with the Thanksgiving holiday, many people will be taking to the roads. Accidents are going to increase because of the number of drivers on the roadways, and the supply currently available just wasn’t a sufficient amount.

“We like to have at least a three day supply, and at the beginning of the drive we only had 0.6 of a day’s supply, equaling out to around 22 units, which is a dangerously low amount,” said Belanger. “Washburn is both a foundation and a leader by action in our community for their effort.”

It was recommended to anyone wanting to donate to the blood drive to hydrate themselves and eat plenty of food prior to having blood drawn. Students also had to weigh at least 115 pounds and be in good health to participate. Indications were that there was not going to be another blood drive around the area any time soon, but the Topeka Community Blood Center is open Monday through Saturday for anyone interested.

Some people who were giving their blood to the drive had never before done so. For others, it was nothing new going through the process. Belanger said 42 first-time donors came out to the event to donate. Some of those who had donated before had done so many times.

“I’ve been giving blood for over 30 years, the first time when I was 18,” said Janet Radziejeski, a Memorial Union Bookstore secretary. “I just feel it’s a way to give to people, in the hope that good karma allows someone to give back to me if I ever needed it.”

The Topeka Community Blood Center reported a few students came the following day to their location to give blood. The supply is no longer dangerously low and it should help the center to get through the Thanksgiving holiday season.

“More should get involved if they can,” said Sheyenne Meister, a student at Washburn. “It just feels good to help be a part of the community. It’s not really scary either, because knowing you’re giving back outweighs it.”