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Back to School Means Return of School Blood Drives
Date:8/31/2007

Students play vital role in maintaining blood supply

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Labor Day signals the end of summer, a difficult season for blood collection, and one that blood centers are usually happy to bid farewell. After coping with tight blood supplies since Memorial Day, there is relief in sight -- school is back in session and so are school blood drives.

(PHOTO: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070831/DCF008 )

Just how important are drives held on high school and college campuses? A recent study published in Transfusion, indicates that only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate -- far less than the 60 percent figure previously estimated -- so student drives are indispensable.

According to a survey of its membership by America's Blood Centers, approximately 16 percent of its annual U.S. collections come from student blood drives. For some blood centers, that number can be much higher. New Jersey Blood Services -- a division of New York Blood Center, Coastal Bend Blood Center (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Houchin Community Blood Bank (Bakersfield, Calif.), report annual collections from school drives of 20, 28 and 30-35 percent, respectively.

"Our blood center has built strong ties with Bakersfield's schools and students," said Houchin Community Blood Bank CEO Greg Gallion. "With close to 35 percent of our total collections coming from school blood drives during the school year, it's not only the blood center that relies on the altruism of our student population, but the entire community. The level of commitment seen from these young people is astounding."

ABC's Canadian members, Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec, rely heavily on student drives as well.

"During the school year, they account for 10 percent of our collections over that period," said Canadian Blood Services Chief O
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SOURCE America's Blood Centers
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