OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU to host winter blood drive

01/31/2002

CORVALLIS - American Red Cross officials are asking people to celebrate Valentine's Day by donating blood during Oregon State University's Feb. 12-14 campus blood drive.

The three-day OSU drive, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, is open to the public and no appointments are needed. The donation site is the OSU Memorial Union Ballroom. For information, contact Noel Mingo at 541-737-3566 or by e-mail at noel.mingo@orst.edu.

While regional blood supplies overall are near normal, the outpouring of blood donations that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has dwindled to a trickle in many states, leaving health officials wondering what will happen in the Pacific Northwest. The consequences of new restrictions on donations from people who have traveled overseas are also uncertain, said Douglas Tracy, Red Cross spokesman. Blood donors who spent a cumulative total of three months in the United Kingdom or six months in Europe between 1980 and the present are not eligible to donate blood because of concerns regarding "mad cow" disease.

Tracy said the entire donation process takes about 45 minutes. To speed the process, he urges donors to time their arrival at 15 or 20 minutes before or after the hour, since a majority of student donors tend to arrive "on-the-hour," as classes finish for the day.

Donors must be healthy, at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Persons who are older than 65 and in good health may usually donate with the approval of the blood bank physician.