University comes out on top in annual blood drive

By Tanaz Ahmed, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 1, 2013

Though Team 134 lost The Game Saturday, Michigan claimed one victory against rival Ohio State University.

The 32nd annual Blood Battle competition against OSU came to an end Friday with a sanguine win for the University.

In 2012, OSU won the Blood Battle, breaking the University’s previous record of four consecutive wins. The University collected 2,575 pints of blood — about 300 more pints than the Buckeyes.

The University also won the competition for organ and bone marrow donor signups, beating OSU by more than 60,000 organ donation pledges and 200 more bone marrow donor commitments. Overall, Blood Drives United, a student-run service organization that coordinates the Blood Battle, found 103,286 organ donors for Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ donor list and 300 bone marrow donors for the Be the Match Registry.

Blood Drives United began collecting donations on Nov. 4 at stations sponsored by the American Red Cross. The drive continued daily at various locations on campus, including the Michigan Union and Michigan Stadium, to meet the goal of 2,550 pints of blood. During the three weeks, more than 30 drives were held around campus.

LSA senior Kevin Weiss, the Blood Battle’s co-chair, said the group placed a greater emphasis on recruitment this after last year’s loss to OSU.

“There was a real improvement this year,” Weiss said. “We procured incentives that benefited the blood drive like promising (donors) Chipotle. We also had the added benefit of knowing that we lost last year, so that was used to recruit as well.”

According to the University Health Service, more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet national demand, and someone needs blood every two seconds. Volunteer blood donations are the only way hospitals can acquire blood. One blood donation has the potential to save three lives, according to the American Red Cross.

“Utilizing the rivalry is a way to recruit lifetime donors,” Weiss said. “Blood does have a shelf life. Donating once is great, but every eight weeks you can continue to donate blood. The Blood Battle hopefully encourages a mindset of giving.”

While the competition is over, Blood Drives United and UHS encourage anyone still interested in donating blood to visit the Red Cross donation website. UHS also encourages those who are interested in becoming an organ or bone marrow donor to join the registries at Gift of Life for organ donations and Be the Match to be placed on the marrow registry.