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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 23, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 23
Homewood Blood Drive Draws Strong Support, But Participation Numbers Dip

February's American Red Cross blood drive on the Homewood campus collected 327 units of blood from 383 students, staff and faculty members who signed in to be screened for blood donation. While the Homewood drive is still one of the largest in the region, this represents a decrease of 100 sign-ins and about 80 units of blood from last year's record-breaking February drive.

From 2002 through the summer of 2003, the Johns Hopkins Homewood drives continued to hold their own or expand, bucking a national trend that saw blood collections shrink during that period, in part because of increased travel and medical restrictions on donors.

Since September 2003, however, the Homewood drives have been less successful than in previous years. Several factors may be involved in this slow-down. A number of offices have moved from Homewood to other JHU locations, including the Eastern campus, which launched its own blood drives. And September's Hurricane Isabel may have contributed to "donor fatigue"; at the September drive, large numbers of walk-in donors or those with last-minute appointments overwhelmed the Red Cross, which was understaffed because of the hurricane. The Red Cross sent letters to all donors from the September drive for whom they had addresses, thanking them for their patience.

Johns Hopkins is planning to launch a campaign to educate the university community about the importance and process of blood donation, in the hope of boosting participation in future drives.

Three student groups help to promote and staff the drives on campus: Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Circle K service club and the Red Cross Corps. Retiree and staff volunteers often assist at the drives as well. The Human Resources Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs has overall administrative responsibility for the blood drives. For more information, contact Caterina Provost-Smith at or 410-516-0138.


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