ISU ‘steps up’ after homecoming drive is cancelled.                  

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood drives are more important than ever. However, they are also more difficult to host than ever before. 

Two blood drives will be held on campus this week. This includes the annual Bleed Blue Blood Drive held in partnership with the Versiti Blood Center for faculty, and an open-to-the-public blood drive sponsored by both the IU School of Medicine – Terre Haute and the Versiti Blood Center. 

The faculty blood drive is part of an annual program called the Bleed Blue Blood Drive. Faculty members were encouraged to create a team of five to seven other faculty members, and if each member donated blood, the entire team would be entered in a chance to win a free lunch. The Bleed Blue Blood Drive was held Monday in the Hulman Memorial Student Union. 

The blood drive sponsored by the IU School of Medicine – Terre Haute and the Versiti Blood Center will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 3-6 p.m. This blood drive will take place on a bloodsmobile outside of the Landsbaum Center. 

Appointments for this blood drive can be made online and are crucial to follow social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, each donor will receive a pair of Versiti Flip Flops. 

In terms of guidelines and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, Versiti will sanitize all beds between each donor, use new equipment packs for each donor, sterilize pens and surfaces between each use, implement temperature checks on all donors and staff before entering the donation area, and implement social distancing. Face coverings are also required.

“Versiti-Indiana has partnered with ISU for many years,” says Shelly Shearer, Field Representative at Versiti-Indiana Blood Center. Shearer says that each year, they typically collect around 500 to 600 donations. However, Shearer says that their largest blood drive – the Indiana State University Homecoming Blood Drive – was cancelled. This blood drive typically yields about 30% of the yearly blood donations.

“ISU has stepped up to help us continue to collect the blood we need,” Shearer said. “Blood has a limited shelf-life, and we must bring in new products every day.”

Sarah Hopfer is a student attending the IU School of Medicine – Terre Haute, and is responsible for organizing the event. This is the second blood drive she has organized this year.