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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Campus blood drive aims for 300 pints

Blood drive co-chair Constantinos Spyris '09 said that this year's drive has been going smoothly and that the drive appeared to be on target towards meeting its donation goal. As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, 126 people had scheduled appointments to give blood and 22 people had donated as walk-ins. Spyris, who also co-chaired the drive that occurred last spring, said that he expects comparable numbers of walk-ins and scheduled appointments overall.

Roughly 20 volunteers have been working to organize the drive since the beginning of Fall term. An additional 120 volunteers, primarily from Greek organizations, will help run the drive by signing people in and assisting in various other capacities.

In addition to typical advertising efforts, which include tabling in Collis and Thayer and sending out campus-wide e-mails, free T-shirts, movie tickets and pizza were also offered as incentives to donate.

While the drive's advertising efforts are aimed primarily at Dartmouth students, Spyris said that almost 60 percent of donors come from Hanover and the Upper Valley.

Due to high donation rates at the end of October, there is not a large shortage of blood in the Upper Valley right now, according to Peter Nattress, the Red Cross's director of donor recruitment for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Nattress said that the American Red Cross was about 100 pints behind in blood collection for the month of November. He emphasized, however, that this early shortage is not particularly worrisome because many opportunities remain to increase collection.

"If we have two good days here at Dartmouth, it would go a long way into cutting into that deficit," Nattress said.

Spyris said that the absence of a critical blood shortage does not decrease the significance of Dartmouth's drive.

"More blood is always needed," he said. "There's a big need for blood in this area. You can always donate at [Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center], but most people don't realize that. One person can save three lives."

Dartmouth's drive, held in conjunction with the Tucker foundation once each term, is the largest Red Cross blood drive in the Upper Valley and could potentially fulfill the American Red Cross' blood collection requirement for several days, Nattress said.

Most other blood drives in the Upper Valley aim to collect only 50 to 100 pints of blood. The Red Cross aims to collect 200 of pints of blood per day in Vermont and 250 pints per day in New Hampshire.

The Red Cross brings 25 staff members, including registered nurses, collection staff and technicians, from Burlington, Vt., to operate the drive, according to Amy Pudvar-Pecor, account executive for the American Red Cross.

Spyris said the entire blood donation process -- which involves registration, completing a health history, a finger prick to test for iron content and actually giving the blood -- usually takes an hour, depending on how many people are waiting to donate.