The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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U community urged to join blood registry

By Carlos Mayorga

U President Michael Young wants everyone to “lend a hand” and register as emergency blood donors.

Earlier this month, Young sent out a mass e-mail asking students, faculty and staff to join a blood type registry, which would supply hospitals at the U with a list of possible blood donors. Participants would only be asked to donate during extreme shortages and emergencies.

ARUP Blood Services — the sole blood supplier to the U Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Primary Children’s Medical Center and Shriner’s Hospital for Children — hopes to avoid blood shortages in the future with the help of the new registry.

People interested in joining the registry with ARUP can sign up online at www.usblooddonors.org or call (801) 584-5272.

The identities of donors will be kept private and will not be sold or used for any other purpose, said Karen Nielsen, vice president and group manager for ARUP Blood Services.

More than 1,000 people joined the list in the first 48 hours after the e-mail was sent, Nielsen said.

But it is not enough.

The urgent need for blood can arise at any time, she said.

The University Hospital has expanded its transplant program, requiring more blood for surgeries. Without the extra blood, these procedures may be delayed, putting patients at risk, Nielsen said.

Also, unexpected tragedies, such as the shootings earlier this year at Trolley Square, can require large quantities of blood all at once.

Nielsen said that in addition to getting more people to join the emergency registry, they are also looking for more regular blood donors.

“We always need blood,” she said, adding that blood is only good for 36 to 42 days after it is collected, so blood supplies have to be continually replenished.

ARUP holds blood drives at U football games and on campus throughout the year, encouraging students to become regular donors. In addition, ARUP receives blood donors seven days a week at its labs in Research Park.

Nielsen said if ARUP could find more regular and emergency donors, the hospitals would have a more adequate and continual blood supply. Doctors would be better prepared in disaster situations and able to handle possibly life-saving surgeries.

“It takes about two days from the time the blood is collected to get it processed with all of the testing we do on it now,” Nielsen said. “So if we had a disaster today, it’s already too late.”

ARUP Blood Services is located at 500 Chipeta Way in Research Park. Donors are asked to make an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome, Nielsen said.

[email protected]

Tyler Cobb

U President Michael Young recently sent e-mails asking students to join a blood type registry to make donations in case of shortages or emergencies. ARUP also holds on-campus blood drives throughout the year.

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