Blood supply less than normal

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By James Roberts

One hour could save three lives.

That's the message Roger Foster, associate professor of business administration at Campbellsville University and local site coordinator for the American Red Cross, is trying to get across in the days leading up to a CU blood drive on Dec. 1.

The Bloodmobile will be at the Student Activities Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1.

CU hosts a blood drive every semester, Foster said. This drive marks the second this semester, he said, because there is a need.

The goal is 40 units of blood, Foster said. At the last CU blood drive, 54 units of blood were donated. That's the norm, Foster said, although the number should be higher.

"We, legitimately, because of the number of people on campus, should get 80 units."

And it is not because people aren't interested, Foster said.

"Students are as caring as they always were, but there are more distractions today."

Whether it is an inconvenience to the donor, Foster said, the fact is that a single hour of the donor's time will save three lives.

"It's the easiest, most selfless act you can perform."

Foster said canceled blood drives at the Louisville Ford plant make the CU drive even more crucial.

Loni White, marketing and communications coordinator for the Red Cross in Louisville, agrees, but said the canceled drives aren't the only reason the upcoming drives must be a success.

"We have had to cancel drives there, but that's not unusual."

While the Ford plant hasn't laid off workers, it has announced production shut downs. The Louisville Assembly Plant, which produces the Ford Explorer, will be shut down for about five weeks beginning the first week of December. Production at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant, which builds F-Series trucks, will be shut down from Dec. 15 to Feb. 2.

Already, White said, some Ford workers are being asked not to come in to work for days or weeks at a time, which is why the Red Cross canceled those blood drives. The number of potential donors would be far below norm.

"We have to maximize whatever resources we have," White said. "We have to collect 600 units a day."

White said the Red Cross is losing other blood drives due to a number of factors, including the sluggish economy and approaching holidays. As a result, every blood drive becomes important.

While White said the CU drive isn't an emergency drive, it is no less crucial.

"It's not an emergency blood drive. There isn't a blood shortage or a particular need," White said.

However, the Red Cross has determined the amount of blood on hand is below safe levels, she said.

"We has a 2 1/2 day inventory. Five to 7 days is safe. Typically, we have a three-day supply."

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.