On July 17 and 18, Homewood faculty, staff, students and even retirees and residents of the surrounding community found their way around construction detours in high heat and humidity to respond to an urgent call from the American Red Cross for blood donations. The result was the most successful July blood drive ever held on the Homewood campus, netting 231 units of blood.
Gay Ouellette, executive director of the Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region, thanked and congratulated participants and volunteers. "During the current blood shortage," he said, "your effort was critical in helping meet patient needs. Thank you for your commitment to saving lives." JHU's Homewood drive is the largest university drive in the region.
The record amount of blood was collected despite a record low "productivity rate" of only about 75 percent. The productivity rate measures the number of units, or pints, of blood actually collected per 100 people who go through the screening process to determine eligibility to donate. About 310 people signed in to go through the screening process; those who read preliminary information but decided not to sign in were not counted. Because of the higher than expected turnout, some prospective donors had to wait longer than usual.
The productivity rate has fallen dramatically as restrictions on eligibility have increased during recent years, including travel restrictions that strongly affect university communities. Regular donors who have been deferred for European travel are advised to call the Red Cross at 800-GIVE-LIFE and ask to be notified if that restriction is lifted.
Two student groups, the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and the JHU American Red Cross Corps, provided volunteers who publicized the drive, set up preregistration tables, made and posted signs to direct prospective donors around the construction, and volunteered at the drive. The Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs coordinates the drives. For more information on donating blood or volunteering go to www.jhu.edu/~outreach/blooddrive.
-- Caterina Provost-Smith