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Kansas City needs more blood

The UMKC Union Programming Board (UPB) is teaming up with the Red Cross to host a campus and community-wide blood drive to replenish exhausted supplies.

After the recent shooting in Las Vegas, the Kansas City area sent over 200 units of blood to hospitals in the area. This, however, caused an unexpected shortage in Kansas City’s own supplies.

“There is a high demand right now, especially with the colder months approaching, people aren’t going out and donating as much blood,” Ayala said. “It can become a problem, especially if any serious accidents were to occur in our area.”

The blood drive is scheduled for Oct. 24 at the Student Union in room 401B. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to all UMKC students, faculty and staff, as well as local community members.

The university held numerous drives in the past, but this will mark the first time the UPB hosts such an event. Juliana Ayala, senior and student enrichment programmer for the UPB, is leading the drive.

“The last campus blood drive was held by the athletic department at the Sweeney Rec Center, so with this new location in the heart of campus, we have the ability to generate a lot more attention and traffic,” Ayala explained. “This will hopefully lead to more students donating blood.”

Senior Karlee Benefiel, a student volunteer working the early registration desk, encouraged her peers to sign up and donate. Some students accepted her request, but others were hesitant, believing they weren’t eligible.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about donating blood,” Benefiel stated. “People think if they have tattoos or recently traveled abroad they are unable to donate, but that’s usually not the case.”

The American Red Cross requirements allow individuals with tattoos to donate blood, as long as they go to a state-regulated facility that uses sterile needles and single-use ink. Only individuals who go to an unregulated tattoo parlor must wait up to twelve months before they become eligible to donate again.

Only individuals who traveled to a high malarial risk area are ineligible to donate blood for up to twelve months.

The blood drive will accept walk-ins on the day of the drive, so prior registration is not necessary to donate. There is also an option to register online by going to the Kansas City Red Cross website and selecting the UMKC event.

 

jshyt7@mail.umkc.edu

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