Donate blood now to help save lives, relieve shortage

Like other community causes, it’s easy to see the importance and value of donating blood when events are held to bring the issue to people’s attention. It’s more difficult to remain aware of this all the time when the issue isn’t being pushed.

The UK community is a major contributor to central Kentucky’s blood supply, but the surplus of blood collected by the Kentucky Blood Center in December is nearly gone, the Kernel reported Friday. The center serves 67 hospitals and provides an average of 170 units of blood a day, said Jim Tinker, a spokesman for the center, in the article.

To meet that demand, the center needs donors now. And donors cannot wait for the next scheduled campus blood drive on Feb. 19 to 22 — more than a month away.

As few as 2 percent of people donate blood at all, Tinker said in the article. The low numbers of donations, donation droughts between drives and the large demand must put a strain on the center’s capacity to supply life-saving blood to half the state. As Tinker said, giving blood is one of the simplest and most meaningful forms of community service.

“College students pride themselves on being a generation of change,” Tinker said in the article. “One of the ways people can have an impact is to donate blood. It is like giving a little bit of yourself to someone else. Each time you donate, you can save the lives of up to three people.”

UK has proven itself in the past with blood contributions. But to serve the state and continue helping people, students, faculty and staff need to be aware of the need for blood at all times, not just when it means beating another school in a competition.

To donate blood, students can visit the Lexington donation center on Beaumont Centre Circle or visit the Kentucky Blood Center’s Web site (