University to start on-campus blood drive Jan. 18

University officials are urging students to donate blood amidst the first-ever national blood shortage.


OneBlood blood mobile outside of Parking Garage 1. Photo by the UP.

Kendall Little, Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 11, the Red Cross announced that the United States is facing its first-ever blood shortage. Red Cross staff say doctors have had to decide which patients receive blood transfusions immediately and which patients must wait, which is referred to as a triage.

The university is hosting a blood drive starting Jan. 18 and running through Jan. 20. Students can find the blood mobiles between Heritage Park Towers and the Arts and Letters building, and outside of Parking Garage 1 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

OneBlood is rewarding students who donate blood with two tickets to a Miami Heat game.

The organization attributes the blood crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many donors have opted out of donating to stay home. Officials have canceled blood drives around the country due to COVID spikes and the Red Cross has had a limited staff since the pandemic began. 

January is National Blood Donor Month and FAU students can help the Red Cross by donating blood both on and off campus.

Dr. Michael Dennis, the founding chairman of the Advisory Board for the Schmidt College of Medicine, wants students to know that donating blood is crucial now more than ever.

“Blood cannot be manufactured,” he said. “The only source is humans.”

According to the Red Cross, cancer, leukemia, anemia, and kidney disease patients are most likely to need blood transfusions, which require blood donations.

“It’s a wonderful gesture for mankind,” Dennis said. “You’re providing support and affection for your fellow humans.”

Larry Faerman, FAU’s acting vice president of student affairs and enrollment, shares Dennis’ sentiment.

“I find blood donations to be an opportunity for a community member, if physically able, to be engaged in providing much needed medical support for someone in need,” he said. “The notion that an individual is providing assistance to someone that they likely do not know, and will never be thanked by, is a strong act of selflessness.”

The Red Cross has several eligibility requirements for blood donors including:

  • Must weigh 110 pounds or more
  • Must be feeling well
  • Cannot have a fever
  • Cannot have tested positive for HIV 
  • Cannot be a male who has had sexual contact with another male in the last three months
  • Cannot have used a needle to administer non prescribed drugs in the last three months
  • Cannot have any bodily infection
  • Must be 17 years old or older
  • Cannot be pregnant
  • Must wait 12 months after getting a piercing with a reusable gun
  • Must wait 12 months after receiving a tattoo at a non-regulated facility

To find more locations to donate blood through OneBlood, click here.

Kendall Little is the Editor-in-Chief for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.