JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

A Message from President Meehan Supporting Blood Drive
on Nov. 10-11

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Please do your part to help relieve a nationwide blood shortage by donating blood this coming Monday and Tuesday, November 10 & 11, during the SGA & Red Cross campus blood drive in the Theron Montgomery Building Auditorium from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. both days.  Door Prizes and refreshments will be available.

Student competitions to garner the most donations will pit the Greek organizations against one another and the other campus organizations in a separate friendly competition.  On the employee side, faculty members will compete against staff to see who will donate the most. Emily Williams, vice president of the student senate, said winners and awards will be announced.

Every donation is important because the shortage of blood is much worse than usual this year. About 38,000 units of blood are needed daily across the country for people having surgery, being treated for accidents, having cancer treatments and other procedures. The variety of people who can't donate, at least temporarily — ranging from soldiers who have been to Iraq to people who get tattoos and body piercings — has hampered donations.  The blood supply decreased to as low as a one-day supply nationally during the summer.

Federal health officials prohibit soldiers returning from Iraq to give blood for a year to ensure that they are free of a rare skin parasite that can be spread by sandfly bites. The Pentagon estimates the restriction applies to an estimated 12,000 donors. Other restrictions include people who may be at risk of West Nile virus or who have traveled in areas affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or had close contact with SARS victims.

"All of these things have impacts," said Dr. Paul Ness, a past president of the American Association of Blood Banks and editor of the group's journal, Transfusion. "Since June, we have been having trouble maintaining a decent inventory of blood and it still persists." Levels have improved slightly during October to between 2.5 and three days, according to Emily Yu, a spokeswoman for the American Association of Blood Banks, but much more needs to be done.

Your participation as a donor on November 10 and 11 can save a life, so please come on out and let's show the Gamecock spirit!

William A. Meehan, President


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