NAU’s Student Philanthropy Council sponsored a blood drive in cooperation with Vitalant, a nonprofit blood collector, in a Bloodmobile parked at the McCreary Drive bus stop near the Wall Aquatic Center.
Although the online registration was full for Sept. 26 and 27, Carina Fors, Vitalant senior donor recruitment representative, said they still accepted walk-ins.
“Blood drives, like ones on the NAU campus and donation centers in the valley, are the only way blood for transfusions can be collected,” Fors said in a phone interview. “It must be from a volunteer or nonpaid donor.”
Vitalant spokesperson Sue Thew said in a phone interview that Vitalant is the primary source for blood in northern Arizona and for 90% of hospitals throughout the state.
It takes 600 donors per day to keep up with statewide demand, and as of now, there is only a one-day supply available, Thew said. She also said Vitalant prefers to have a three to four day supply on hand and are now in replenishment mode. Much of this is due to lack of donations and increased demand over the Labor Day holiday.
“The best way to make sure blood is available for you or a loved one is to donate blood ahead of time, because it is blood on the shelf that saves lives,” Thew said. “Do not wait for an emergency.”
Thew also said right now there is an urgent need for both O positive and negative blood types due to their universal use, but also stated that all blood types are needed.
There is a 24 to 36 hour window from the time blood is donated until it is available following testing, processing and distribution, Thew said, expressing how important donations are.
Camille Sipple, four time donor and NAU freshman, was among those exiting the Bloodmobile with a blue bandage on her arm representing her effort to help the cause.
“It’s something I have that other people need,” Sipple said. “It feels good to give back."
Sophomore Naomy Lopez, a frequent donor, said she donates because it is nice to save lives, and someday she may be the one in need. Even with her fear of needles, she still finds the process fairly easy to go through.
“It’s not as bad as it seems, and it’s really helpful,” Lopez said. “So, I recommend everyone do it.”
Sipple also said she recommends not looking at the needle as one helpful tip when giving blood, and that the small amount of pain from it is worth saving a life.
“A little pain can help someone,” Sipple said.
Information about donation centers and future blood drives can be found on Vitalant's website.