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Campus Events Commission, Health Professional Interst Club host annual blood drive 

MOORHEAD – The Campus Events Commission (CEC) and Health Professional Interest Club (HPIC) joined together to host a blood drive on Thursday, Jan. 25.  

“Generally, in years past, HPIC and CEC have had separate blood drives.” said Kylie Brenny, CEC Lead Commissioner.  

Last year, the two blood drives occured very close to one another. Because donors can only donate once every three to four months, it made more sense to host a combined event this year.  

Hospitals nationwide are reporting a vast decrease in blood donations resulting in delays and cancellations in dozens of procedures. The Red Cross recently recorded a record low in donor turnout within the last two decades, dropping by 40% acccording to their website.  

Among the staff working the drive was Kari Werlinger, a Phlebotomist working through Vitalant, the non-profit that provided the staff  and equipment for Thursday’s event. 

“There’s a need for blood every single day for a variety of reasons, from accidents to surgeries, to genetic disorders, and it’s something that we can’t manufacture. So we rely on people that are willing to come in and donate and give that gift to help save.”  

Werlinger said. 

According to Werlinger, Vitalant’s resources consist of multiple mobile donation centers which are accessible by appointment via their app.   

“We’ve got four trucks, a bus, and then we’ve got our center. So when it’s operating, we have technically five to six blood drives going on at once.” Werlinger said. 

However, despite all these resources, The Red Cross still reports that up to one-quarter of blood transfusion requests in hospitals are failing to be met. As the winter season continues, the Red Cross predicts an even greater decrease in donations, due to weather-influencing illnesses, like the Flu, forcing people to stay home.

According to Brenny, the decrease in donor turnout could be due to the large population of students that already donate plasma as well as misinformation surrounding individuals with health conditions. 

For blood drives, it’s always somewhat challenging in terms of the beginning of recruitment. Educating people is very important and then once that happens, normally, the donors start signing up.“ Brenny said. 

Thursday’s donation mett all of its goals in terms of donors.  

“The goal for the amount of collections was 25, and 34 donors showed up, with 31 of those donors actually being able to donate  so we surpassed our goal by six collections.”  HPIC volunteer coordinator Charlene Geraci said in an email. 

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