With Donations Down, Duke Hosts Blood Drive

Drive held Aug. 27 as blood donations to Red Cross down 8 percent since May

Duke employees have the chance donate blood and potentially save a life. Duke Hospital will host a blood drive on Aug. 27, with three more at Duke in September. Photo by Marsha A. Green.

A simple act next week by Duke community members could save a life.

Duke Hospital will host a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Searle Center Lecture Hall in the Seeley G. Mudd Building in an attempt to replenish supplies for the American Red Cross. The drive’s goal is to secure at least 82 pints of blood from 106 donors, although there is no limit to how many donors or pints of blood the drive will accept.

Organizers with the Duke Hospital Blood Drive Committee said there’s a need for O-negative blood type, but any type of blood can and will be accepted, even if a donor doesn’t know what type of blood they have.

In the past three months, blood donations are down 8 percent nationwide, according to the Red Cross.

To be eligible to donate blood, participants must be at least 17-years old, in good general health and weigh at least 110 pounds. A donor can provide blood to the Red Cross every 56 days.

Walk-ins for the drive are welcome, but appointments are encouraged by registering online at the Red Cross website using the sponsor code “Duke.” While the donating process may take about 10 minutes, donors are recommended to set aside about an hour to arrive, fill out registration materials and then stay for observation and refreshments for up to 20 minutes after a donation.

As part of the donation process, each participant will receive a donor profile in the mail six to eight weeks after the event. The profile will offer information like blood type, iron levels and more.

Nancy Bishop, a grants and contracts administrator in the Department of Cell Biology and avid blood donor, recommended that faculty and staff consider participating because it’s an easy way to give back to the community.

“So many people don’t do it, but it’s really important and an easy way to potentially save somebody’s life,” said Bishop, who estimates she’s donated as much as 16 gallons of blood in her life. “It’s a simple step to help other people.”