Blood bank shortage inspires APSU Health and Human Performance faculty to host blood drive
CLARKSVILLE, TN – Hospitals across Tennessee desperately need more blood. Last week, Gov. Bill Lee called on the state’s residents to help end the blood bank shortage, and even the American Cancer Society is pleading for people to donate because, according to that organization, “blood transfusions save millions of lives in the United States every year.”
The American Cancer Society is speaking out because, for cancer patients in particular, these transfusions help replace vital red blood cells and platelets. To combat this shortage, the Austin Peay State University Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) will host a special, two-day American Red Cross blood drive to benefit the region, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 23, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sept. 24, in the University’s Foy Recreation Center.
Instructor Donna Dey organized the event after discovering how the current blood shortage affected her colleagues. Earlier this year, Tonya Leszczak, APSU assistant director of alumni relations, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. During a critical time in her treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a team of doctors told her there’d be a short delay in her care.
“The doctor said, ‘We have a blood shortage, so you’re not going to do the procedure today,’” Tim Leszczak, APSU professor of HHP and Tonya’s husband, said. “They told us we’d have to wait until they received a delivery later that day. That’s when we realized there was a blood shortage. We saw it firsthand.”
Dey and her HHP colleagues are encouraging individuals both at Austin Peay and in the greater Clarksville community to give blood during the two-day drive. The process will take about an hour, but donors will restore critically low blood supplies. Anyone interested in donating should reserve a time by visiting www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=APSU.
Some individuals, for a variety of reasons, are unable to donate blood, but Dey said that shouldn’t stop them from supporting this important event.
“We need volunteers to help us that day, so even if they can’t donate blood, they can donate their time,” she said.
To volunteer or for additional information, contact Dey at email@example.com.
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