Sacred Heart will be hosting a blood drive in the Edgerton Center from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, Feb. 23, and March 2 in partnership with Hartford Healthcare St Vincent’s Medical Center and the Connecticut Blood Center to help aid with the national blood crisis.
According to the Associated Press, in Jan. 2022, the American Red Cross declared the worst national blood shortage in the past decade due to multiple causes, including a 62% drop on both high school and college campuses since the start of the pandemic.
Because the American Red Cross has been urging more people to donate blood, Sacred Heart has taken the initiative of organizing their own drives.
“The Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) decided to host two upcoming blood drives in conjunction with the Red Cross of Connecticut as the service aligns with our organization’s mission statement.” said Lisa Jacobsen, president of the Student Nursing Association.
“In the hospital setting, we have seen patients receive only half unit doses of blood to preserve a dwindling supply,” said Jacobson. “Ultimately, this blood drive will be a rewarding event that provides our students with many volunteer and leadership opportunities while promoting a lifesaving cause.”
The blood drive will be open to all students and an appointment can be made on the Connecticut Blood Center website. While the drives taking place on Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 are both fully booked, appointments for March 2 are still available, but filling up quickly.
In response to this, Sacred Heart sent out an email on Feb. 10 with new available blood drive dates in Feb., March, and April.
“I did not get a chance to sign up for one of the upcoming blood drives on-campus, which is why I’m so happy Sacred Heart has decided to hold more drives,” said sophomore Michael Paiva. “I’ve never donated blood before because I never realized how important it was, but after hearing about the blood shortage and how many people can be affected by it I am very excited to help the cause.”
Due to the popularity and large scale of the event, many students within the Davis and Henley College of Nursing were asked to volunteer their time.
“This event called upon the need for many student volunteers,” said Jacobsen. “Students were asked to sign-up to fill positions ranging from donating blood to assisting with setup and breakdown, greeting donors and even assisting donors within the refreshment area.”
Additionally, in compliance with the American Red Cross rules and regulations, anyone who wishes to donate must adhere to the guidelines exactly.
“The university Covid-19 regulations prohibit anyone outside our SHU community from signing up to donate or attend,” said Jacobsen. “The majority of donors for our first blood drive on Feb. 22 are undergraduate student names with several faculty donors. Anyone who meets the criteria for eligibility can donate. Donors must be feeling well and in good health, weigh at least 110 lbs., and at least 16 years of age.”
Despite the somewhat strict criteria that blood donors must meet, students are still willing to donate their blood to help others and have called upon others to do the same.
“I’m proud to say that I attend a school that’s willing to take action during a national crisis like this,” said freshman Sean Garafol. “I understand how dangerous a blood shortage can be and I think anybody who can donate has an obligation to help out.”
To register for upcoming blood drives, use code C008 at ctblood.org/drives.