Blood drive at Utah Tech brings awareness of blood shortage

The blood drive was held Jan. 30 on campus and helped with replenishing and maintaining the supply hospitals need to ensure they can provide the treatment that is necessary for their patients. Through the generosity of volunteers and blood donors, crises such as blood shortages can be reduced. Emily Vanmiddendorp | Sun News Daily

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According to American Red Cross, the number of blood donors is currently at the lowest amount of people willing to donate than seen in the last 20 years, which is causing an emergency blood shortage.

However, the American Red Cross was on Utah Tech University’s campus Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a blood drive. It was held in the Gardner Student Center and was open to both the campus and community to donate.

Bryce Madden, an American Red Cross employee, was one of the workers on the blood collections team for the blood drive. He has been in this position for about three and a half years, where he has seen a decrease in blood donors.

“I know sometimes people are scared of needles or feel like they don’t have time, but we can get people in and out in a half hour to 45 minutes,” Madden said. “On top of that, [it’s] not as bad as people think.”

Madden said once the blood is drawn, it is packed up in insulated boxes with ice and sent to Salt Lake City. The blood is then tested in a lab to make sure it is safe and sent out to wherever it is most needed.

Most people are eligible to donate blood, as long as they aren’t currently sick or on certain list of medication that would be asked about before donating.

Clinton Rice Lee, a freshman history major from St. George, donated blood at the blood drive and has done it many times before. Lee said he found out his blood type the first time he donated, which is one of the benefits of donating if you don’t already know your blood type.

The blood drive was also a way for students to get volunteer hours. Natalie Moses, a freshman population health major from Cedar City, was one of the volunteers who helped run the check-in process and encouraged people walking by to donate blood. By doing this, she was getting volunteer hours, while learning more about the blood donation process.

“People need it in the hospitals, and we can help someone save their life, especially someone in a critical time in their life,” Moses said.

While the Utah Tech blood drive is over, there are still opportunities to donate blood. If you’re interested, you can donate blood at your local American Red Cross and help with the emergency blood shortage.

Madden said: “It feels great. Not only does it help other people, but it’s actually helping yourself to donate blood as well. It’s kind of compared to an oil change for a car. You’re getting rid of old blood which stimulates your body to make new red blood cells.”