Penn State looks to meet Red Cross' urgent need with multiple blood drives

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- With the recent winter storms, more than 170 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in this region resulting in a short fall of certain blood types. While this immediate area was spared the brunt of the winter weather, other Red Cross areas were not as lucky.  The American Red Cross recently issued an urgent need strongly encouraging those with blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative to donate as soon as possible. All other blood types are also needed but the inventories of these four are especially low.

Mike Casper, blood donor, staff member of the Larson Transportation Institute at Penn State and board member of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region recently saw how important an adequate blood supply can be. “Our work with the American Red Cross hit home recently. My uncle had serious heart issues. He had ‘died’ several times – he couldn’t eat, sleep or breathe. In 2002 he received an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) heart pump, which he lived with for 10 months, changing VHS size batteries several times a day, until he got a heart transplant. During his surgeries, he lost a lot of blood. At one point, there were four lines providing blood to him at the same time. In all, he received 25 units of blood. He’s doing well and has been able to see many grandchildren graduate high school and one get married.”

This example illustrates the importance of having a safe, stable, and ample blood supply. March is Red Cross Month and 11 Penn State faculty and staff departments and three student organizations are helping to ease the urgent need as they sponsor their annual March blood drives:

-- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, sponsored by the University Park Library Employees Association

-- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 18, Bryce Jordan Center, Room E, sponsored by the Bryce Jordan Center, Intercollegiate Athletics and the Bursar’s Office

-- 1 to 7 p.m. March 18, Donor van at Physical Plant Building, sponsored by the Office of Physical Plant

-- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 19, Donor van at Walker Building, sponsored by the Applied Research Lab

-- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20, Donor van at Keller/Mateer Building, sponsored by College of Education, School of Hospitality Management, and the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society

-- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 21, Donor van at the Katz Building, sponsored by the School of Law and the Student Bar Association

-- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 22, Donor van behind Agriculture Adminstration Building, sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences

-- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 28, HUB, Alumni Hall, sponsored by the College Assistance Migrant Program for the National Caesar Chavez Memorial Blood Drive Challenge

Those with the urgent blood types are urged to consider making a double-red donation. This will provide twice the amount of life-saving red blood cells. For more information about a double-red donation or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 814-237-2713.   Appointments are recommended for all blood drives and are required for the donor van drives.

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Last Updated March 19, 2013