Blood bank plans to replenish low supply

By Stephanie Bradley

The Aurora Area Blood Bank will be on campus today and Tuesday in an attempt to replenish its low blood supply.

Sigma Nu fraternity will sponsor the blood drive in the Illinois Room of the Holmes Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The blood drive is especially important because the blood bank is “at a critical level, and less than that with O positive (blood types),” said Kris Stutzman, DeKalb County representative of the blood bank. Although O positive is at a critical level, (the bank) still needs all the other types also,” she said.

The biggest reason for the shortage is “two scheduled donor groups canceled (their blood drives),” said Dr. Franklin Farrales, medical director of the blood bank.

Steve Bush, lab manager at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, said there have been more medical emergencies caused by the weather.

Bush also said although the blood bank might have problems getting blood, the area hospitals do not have problems because “the blood bank has to keep (the hospitals) supplied.”

The Aurora Area Blood Bank holds blood drives in many communities and supplies blood to hospitals in five counties. However, NIU is by far the largest donor, Stutzman said.

At least 30 organizations sponsor blood drives, including the residence halls, fraternities and sororities.

NIU Greek Adviser Jeff Cufaude had the idea of a blood drive commission to encourage people to donate blood, Sigma Nu President Tom Kermgard said.

“There would be a competition between fraternities and sororities for donors,” he said. Kermgard said he hopes the commission will help strengthen unity among greeks at NIU.

In the meantime, the Aurora Area Blood Bank needs 400 units of O positive (it usually keeps 1000 units in stock), 300 units of A positive and 100 units of B positive, as well as the other types.

Stutzman said individuals can safely donate blood every eight weeks. There will be a sign-up table in the Pow Wow, although walk-ins will be accepted.

The blood bank holds a blood drive about once a month in the student center. The next drives are scheduled to be held Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 31.