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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Red Cross hopes to draw increased donors at blood drives

Ginny Polin / Arizona Daily Wildcat

blood drive
Ginny Polin
Ginny Polin / Arizona Daily Wildcat blood drive

Students looking to donate blood have more opportunities this year.

The American Red Cross is aiming to increase its presence on campus.

“”We are just trying to make a concerted effort,”” said Debra Deininger, communications and marketing manager for the Arizona Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “”So students have more choices as of when to donate.””

Deininger said the American Red Cross is looking for new clubs and organizations interested in sponsoring blood drives. The organization has already scheduled six blood drives in October and six in November.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona is kicking off October efforts with the ZonaZoo Blood Drive sponsored by the American Red Cross. Its goal is to recruit 255 donors over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, according to Deininger.

Organizers said the Wednesday and Thursday appointments were booked full a week in advance.

“”We’ve actually had a great response from students this year,”” said nutritional sciences senior Krista Udd, community development blood drive coordinator for ZonaZoo. “”We haven’t had to push hard.””

Hillary Davidson, associate executive director of ZonaZoo and a marketing junior, said ZonaZoo’s large fan base helps the success of blood drives.

“”We are fortunate enough to have such a wide base of students,”” Davidson said. “”We can recruit easier than other clubs.””

Deininger said the UA is the only entity in Tucson the American Red Cross visits several times a month. Donors must wait eight weeks between donations, so the organization cannot frequent donation sites.

“”The U of A is probably unique in that its large population allows us to go multiple times a month and have different donors each time,”” Deininger said.

Deininger said the American Red Cross is looking to recruit donors while they are young because they are more likely to become donors for life.

“”We’re really looking for a new and younger generation of blood donors,”” Deininger said. “”And that starts with high school and college (students).””

UA students also frequently donate blood through United Blood Services.

“”At the U of A, there are a lot of good people, and most are willing to donate,”” said Steve Maack, donor recruitment representative for United Blood Services. “”When people realize there is no pain and they’re helping, it’s amazing how eager people are to help.””

AJ Tio, a senior majoring in speech, language and hearing sciences, has donated blood twice on campus.

“”I have a lot of it. It’s not like I need it,”” Tio said. “”It’s for a good cause.””

Maack said United Blood Services holds more than 12 blood drives on campus each year, including three this month. About 35 people successfully donate blood at each drive, according to Maack.

“”We’ll usually get about 25 units of blood,”” said Maack, noting Arizona hospitals require about 700 units of blood each day. “”Doing a blood drive with anybody is always a good thing.””

Each blood donation is separated into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Each component can be given to a different patient.

“”Giving an hour of your time is saving three people’s lives,”” Davidson said. “”It’s wonderful.””

Udd said giving blood is a simple way for students to contribute.

“”Donating blood is one of the easiest ways you can give back to the community,”” Udd said.

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