Penn State and Ohio State Battle it Out in Annual Blood Drive Competition
Penn State and Ohio State are once again competing to see which university can collect the most blood donations in April.
The universities are participating in the Fight for Life program for the fourth year in a row.
The Penn State Student Red Cross Club is challenging the Penn State community to donate blood and help Penn State win the competition that saves lives.
Last year, Penn State beat Ohio State by collecting 1,003 units of blood to Ohio State's 848 units.
"We're really excited to compete in the Fight for Life for the fourth year in a row against the Buckeyes," says Student Red Cross Club President Nina Farrell. "We encourage everyone who is eligible to come donate at one of these drives to not only help beat OSU in some friendly competition, but to help save lives."
During the spring, the Red Cross focuses on increasing blood inventory that was depleted during the winter months and boosting supplies before the summer vacation season.
During this year's brutal winter, severe weather across the United States forced the cancellation of more than 1,500 American Red Cross drives. The cancellations resulted in more than 50,000 uncollected blood donations.
While roughly 40 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood any given year, only about 5 percent of Americans actually donate, according to Carolyn Kean, community CEO, American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Blood Services.
"This eligibility percentage certainly could be higher on a college campus. If just five percent of the Penn State population donated blood, about 2,500 units of blood would be collected," Kean says. "This would greatly exceed the goal for this competition of 1,000 units."
Kean says a donor may be able to donate every 56 days meaning during a school year, a donor could schedule four donations, one every two months.
Donations collected during the Penn State - Ohio State competition will help supplies at hospitals in both the Greater Alleghenies and Central Ohio Regions of the American Red Cross.
Pizza and other food will be provided at all Fight for Life drives.
Blood donation appointments are strongly recommended. You can see eligibility requirements and make an appointment HERE.