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Blood is hard to find on campus

Jan. 24, 2001

National shortage, threat of disease may hamper drive

By JENNIFER SIH

Reporter

The Alpha Epsilon Delta Blood Drive is this week, but it has gotten off to a surprisingly slow start compared to past blood drives.

'Students just walked by like we didn't exist, but we really need them,' said Julie Watts, a Red Cross employee. 'The nation hasn't been this low on blood for 50 years.'

Monday was very slow for the blood drive workers.

'We feed into 23 area hospitals and try to keep a three-day supply of blood on the shelf, but we haven't achieved that since Christmas time,' said Debra Crist, a Red Cross donor recruiter.

January is the month with the highest death rate due to holidays and traveling, so the demand is up, Crist said.

The nurses and technicians are puzzled as to why so few students are donating this year.

AED worked hard putting the drive together, and the Red Cross provided people from Dallas and Bryan who travelled to the Baylor campus to make this drive a success.

Some students are on antibiotics right now, so they cannot donate until 48 hours after they finish their medication.

According to the nbci.com Web site, 'Mad cow (disease) cases are mounting in many European countries and U.S. officials are considering expanding their ban on blood donations by people who spent time in Britain during the height of the crisis.

The Red Cross estimated its new proposals would reduce the current number of its blood donors by between 5 percent and 6 percent.'

But students who decided to give blood weren't afraid of the needle.

'This was my first time and it was easy, even though I was nervous,' said Craig Coak, a Temple freshman.

Students should plan to take 30 minutes to complete the entire process, but the actual donation process takes anywhere from five to 10 minutes.

'I did it because my family members could need blood,' said Joel Murry, a Gilmer freshman.

One pint of blood saves three lives and is divided into red blood cells, platelets and plasma.

'I encourage students to ask us any questions about donating blood,' Crist said.

The AED blood drive will continue until 5:30 p.m. Friday and has donation sites at Carroll Science Hall, Sid Richardson Science Building, Penland Residence Hall, Waco Hall, the McLane Student Life Center and Clifton Robinson Tower.