One pint of blood can save up to three lives, and the summer months is when blood is in short supply. The last week in August, as students returned to Weber State, the Fall 2019 Blood Battle between Utah State University and WSU started in full swing to help replenish the blood bank.
Starting on Aug. 26 and continuing through Aug. 30, Weber State participated in its 15th year of the Blood Battle. This battle is a competition between Weber State and Utah State University. Each school urges their students to donate their blood during a week-long blood drive, to see which school can donate the most.
Part of the competition between schools is each university has a daily goal, at the end of the day they tallied up what their percentage to goal was, then at the end of the week, the totals were put together to finalize a winner.
This year WSU hit 99% of their total goal, 198 units of blood and students donated 198 units, while USU hit 107%. Even though WSU fell to USU, it was “one of the best outcomes we have ever had,” according to WSUSA service team member Hannah Wadsworth.
The American Red Cross helps host the drive every year and has lots of resources to help students donate. According to the Red Cross, only a three-day supply of most blood types is available, and someone needs blood every two seconds.
Kurt Lyman, the account manager for the Red Cross, said “Blood is one of those things that we can’t manufacture, and if we don’t have enough blood… it’s just really important to have blood on the shelves.”
He says that during times of crisis citizens often line up to donate blood, but by the time they donate, the blood gets processed in the lab and gets back to them, it won’t help those people in immediate need from that particular crisis.
WSUSA service team American Red Cross Chair Hannah Wadsworth said, that this year she was so pleased with the turn out of donors.
After all her advertising about the event, the volunteers and American Red Cross were overwhelmed with so many students wanting to participate that they had to turn some participants away. But Hannah and the ARC want to encourage students to donate in other drives as well as participate next year in the Blood Battle.
One of the main reasons that donors say they donate is to help others who are in need.
One major example of that is Weber State student Taylor Karren, he says that this is his third or fourth time donating to this specific blood drive, but he also donates to other drives in the area and has helped plan a few of his own.
He said, “I like to help others and I like to participate, especially in blood drives because it doesn’t cost anything to be able to help people.”
Trying to find donors is not always so easy. Many people are scared of needles. Wadsworth said that it isn’t as scary as it seems, the physical aspect of donating blood only takes about ten minutes. She is a student in the medical field and knows that blood drives are a simple way for just one person to help many.