The students at the Yale School of Medicine understand the value of blood better than most. Still, several volunteered to part with one pint of their own in exchange for sandwiches, soda and a sticker.
The Red Cross hosted its quarterly medical school blood drive Wednesday in Harkness Lounge. Red Cross worker Melissa Rossi said the drive, aimed at medical school students, faculty and employees, and few undergraduates, was successful in reaching its target.
“Today’s turnout was very good,” she said. “Our goal was 60 pints, and we had 108 people sign up online.”
However, Rossi said the 108 sign-ups were not expected to yield much more than the desired 60 pints, enough to provide for 180 patients. The difference results from some people forgetting their appointments and others not being eligible to give blood.
Of those present and willing to donate, 15 percent do not pass screening conducted to ensure the safety of transplant recipients and are deferred. Individuals who weigh under 110 pounds, are ill, have spent time in certain countries at risk for disease or have blood disorders may not donate.
The blood collected will be sent to hospitals throughout Connecticut to meet the ever-present demand.
“Hospitals never turn blood down,” Rossi said.
Rossi said the average volunteer is a regular donor, who perhaps personally knows someone in need of a transplant.
Head Medical Reference Librarian Charles Greenberg and George Le ’08, who were present at the drive, said they donate regularly.
Donors were provided with free refreshments after giving blood in order to prevent fainting.
Although the event was advertised with posters, fliers and mass e-mails, Greenberg said more creative means might have been able to attract more donors.
The entire Yale community as well as the general public will have a chance to participate in the campus’ next blood drive, the inaugural Yale-Harvard Blood Drive Challenge Feb. 7-10. The Red Cross blood drive will be held in the Lee Amphitheatre at Payne Whitney Gymnasium.
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