Blood Drives fill calendars at UAB hospitals in February

By on February 20, 2014

Due to the numerous winter storms that rocked the United States last month that caused school cancellations and hospital closures across Alabama, blood is in low supply in many hospitals. The UAB hospital system is among many in the nation that is feeling the affects of the reduced blood supply, as it is one of the largest users of Red Cross blood.

To meet the increased need for blood, UAB is hosting a series of blood drives sponsored by the Birmingham chapter of the Red Cross. The drives will be held at the UAB Hospital North Pavilion on the second-floor atrium from Monday, February 17, to Saturday, February 22, and at UAB Highlands Hospital on from Tuesday February 25, to Thursday February 27.

According to the American Red Cross, approximately every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of blood and upwards of 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

Anyone who is 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent, who weighs at least 110 pounds and is in generally good health is encouraged to donate. Donors should bring a Red Cross blood donor card or any other acceptable form of photo ID. Blood donation is a simple and safe process, and a single donation has the potential to save up to three lives. While the process, which includes registration and a mini-health screening, usually takes up to an hour, the actual blood donation itself typically only takes 8 to 10 minutes.

“Donating blood is easy to do and it’s definitely worth it to help save lives. I’ve given blood four times now and I plan on giving again in the future,” said Muna Alsafarjalani, who donates blood every six months.

UAB has hosted numerous blood drive campaigns during the 2013-2014 academic year thus far.

“I believe that giving blood is something that everyone can do. I was honestly a little scared at first, but the volunteers were very nice and I’m so glad I did it,” said freshman Emily Montoya, who donated for the first time at a Red Cross blood drive at the university’s Residence Life Center in September.

As an incentive to help meet the increased need for blood of all types in Birmingham, every donor will be eligible to win one of six $100 gift cards.

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