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Nina Montalto gives blood for the first time at ASU's 2011 Homecoming Blood Drive. Photo by Glenn Dion | University News

Originally published: 2012-09-25 17:43:53
Last modified: 2012-09-25 17:43:53

University aims for blood drive record

by Anna Oakes

Appalachian State University hopes to break its own blood collection record at Wednesday’s sixth annual Homecoming Blood Drive for ASU students, faculty and staff.

Held in conjunction with the American Red Cross, the drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Holmes Convocation Center. ASU’s single-day collection record, set last year, is 1,261 units of blood — the record in North Carolina and ranked in the top 10 nationally for single-day collection.

Donors can make online appointments by visiting Donors will receive a T-shirt and the chance to win a $3,000 gift card.

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides life-saving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses, receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood, and volunteer donors are the only source.

While the Red Cross is not facing the emergency shortages it encountered this summer, “the need is always there,” said Revonda Wood, Red Cross regional donor recruitment representative.

If Wednesday’s Homecoming Blood Drive were to collect 1,600 units, it could potentially meet the stated daily need for the Carolinas Blood Services Region, which serves North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia.

However, the blood drive requires the assistance of American Red Cross staff from five different service areas, meaning no other blood drives can be held on the same day in those areas, Wood noted.

ASU also encourages alumni participation at local Red Cross blood centers across the state through Sept. 29. For a list of locations that correspond with locations of alumni chapters, visit

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given safely every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

For more information, email (