Campus blood drive helps mitigate blood emergency

Jack Martin cringes as a nurse adjusts his needle during Thursday’s blood drive. “I’ve given blood quite a few times now, it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to,” Martin said.

Lily Burris

Students had their first opportunity this semester to help with a nationwide blood emergency by donating blood to the Red Cross through a blood drive Wednesday at the Preston Center.

The drive was hosted through WKU’s Campus Ministries and is the smallest blood drive on campus. Janice Prochaska, the Red Cross’s account manager in blood services, said there is currently a blood emergency due to lack of blood drives occurring since schools closed for the holidays.

Prochaska said there is currently a two and a half day blood supply, and that blood drives pick back up in about mid-January after school starts, and drop again when the summer starts.

With about 20 people donating blood to total about 40 units, Prochaska said the Campus Ministries blood drive is the smallest drive on campus. The blood drive that occurs each year during Greek Week brings in about 350 units per day. Donated blood provides an everyday personal impact to people Prochaska said.

Campus Ministries volunteered to help throughout the day, including members of the Baptist Campus Ministry. WKU Assistant Director of Student Activities, Leadership, and Volunterism Mindy Johnson sent the information to the ministries. Colin Wood, who works at the BCM, was there checking on the volunteers and decided to donate himself.

“I just came over to see how they’re doing, and I saw it wasn’t like they were too busy so I decided to donate,” Wood said.

Many nursing majors came out to donate blood throughout the event, having heard about it through an email from the nursing school.

Keyley Smith, a nursing major from Corbin said she has donated five times prior to Wednesday’s blood drive.

“I’m not yet saving lives, but I can now just by getting a needle stuck in my arm,” Smith said.

One blood transfusion can save three lives. Most donated blood gets used in trauma situations such as car accidents or surprise medical emergencies such as hemorrhaging.

“It’s people saving people just by donating blood,” Smith said.

News reporter Lily Burris can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @lily_burris.