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BU key to Carter's blood drive

Jan. 29, 2004

By Christie Slattery, reporter

Carter BloodCare vans have been camped out in front of Penland Residence Hall, Fountain Mall, the McLane Student Life Center and the Elizabeth Bobo Baptist Student Center to help emphasize National Blood Donor Month.

For the past year, Carter BloodCare has been a constant presence at Baylor through the help of student organizations who sponsor the event.

This week, service organization Alpha Epsilon Delta has sponsored the blood drive, hoping to help Waco community hospitals such as Providence Health Center and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. The blood drive at Baylor is one of many that are taking place around the Waco area during the month of January.

Due to the amount of hospital patients they support and the need for blood in surrounding communities, Carter BloodCare's needs are extensive. According to Carter BloodCare representatives, a patient is transfused every 90 seconds within their service area. In order for Carter to assist patients with this need, donors must visit blood drives and donor centers every day.

'Carter BloodCare needs 800 donors a day to satisfy the needs of patients at local hospitals,' Carter BloodCare representative Katie Karakehian, said.

The role Baylor students play in helping this nonprofit blood center is very important, according to Carter BloodCare representatives. When Baylor students give blood they add to the reserves held for emergency patients. Carter BloodCare's supply is able to remain stable through the help of students and members of the community.

'If we have met the needs of Waco hospitals, we can help other communities,' Public Information Coordinator Carolina Garcia said.

Karakehian said the week's turn out has been good. However, she is hoping for the number of donors to increase throughout the week.

She said the beginning of the week always tends to be slower.

As the week has progressed, needs for particular blood types have become evident.

Garcia said O-negative and B-negative blood types are the most needed.

Carter BloodCare is also experiencing shortages of A-negative and AB-negative.

Students with these specific blood types are highly encouraged to donate.

'I hate giving blood but I do it anyways, because someone needs it more than I do,' Chris Otts, an Arlington senior, said.

Four and a half million American lives are saved each year because of blood transfusions according to the Carter BloodCare Web site.

The summer and winter months are the times when the need for blood donations is the greatest.

Students weighing at least 110 pounds can donate blood every 56 days.

The needs of the community are evident, according to Carter BloodCare representatives.

Garcia said she is thankful to Baylor students for their donations.

Students can donate blood until Friday at Penland Hall, Fountain Mall, the McLane Student Life Center and the Elizabeth Bobo Baptist Student Center.