University department challenge set in GOLD program blood drive

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University department challenge set in GOLD program blood drive

November 27, 2012

It will be a “University Department Throw-Down Challenge” for Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s annual December Blood Drive with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). The drive, which is sponsored by the National Guard GOLD program, is set for Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Student Center Ranger Room on the Alva campus. The drive is open to everyone on and off campus.

“The university department with the most donors will win a pizza party from OBI,” said Rachel Stewart, special events coordinator. “So, faculty and staff mark your calendars now and remember to give.”

Stewart also said that she needs volunteers to help work during the drive.

Each donor will receive an OBI ball cap, health screenings and Donor Rewards points, redeemable for items in OBI’s online store. Any donor who wishes to support the Global Blood Fund can forgo the ball cap. In turn, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary contribution of similar value to the Global Blood Fund. It’s a chance to “doubly give” by saving a life locally, and making safe blood available in the world’s poorest countries.

“We’re blessed to be surrounded by giving people who respond when they know of a need,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of OBI. “The gift of blood is a life-saving one. It’s difficult to think of anything more important that we personally can do.”

Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed.

Although all blood types are needed, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate.

ccording to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), those with O-negative blood type make up only 9 percent of the national population. However, O-negative blood can be used in any emergency situation when a patient’s blood type has not yet been identified.

Anyone, 16 years or older, can typically donate blood, as long as 16-year-olds weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission. Also, 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, and those 18 years of age or older must weigh at least 110 pounds.

For more information about the blood drive at Northwestern-Alva or to volunteer for the event, contact Stewart at (580) 327-8178 or