Medic Regional Blood Center plans to “pull out all the stops” for this year’s BlueOrange Battle for Blood, set for November 18-22. The annual event pits fans of the UT Vols against fans of the University of Kentucky Wildcats; the side collecting the most blood donations is the winner.
Local residents will have the opportunity to show their blood really runs Orange when Medic holds a BlueOrange Blood Drive.
During the 15-year history of the contest Kentucky fans have won 9 times and Vol fans have been victorious five times; the two sides tied once. Last year, Wildcat followers gave 2,335 pints of Kentucky blue blood and UT supporters contributed 1,912 pints of orange blood.
Both sides scaled back promotion and collection efforts last year because Medic, CKBC and many other US blood centers had inventories swelled to capacity because of the surge in donations after the September 11 attacks. ‘We knew that if we collected the 3,000 or so units we hope for each year from BIueOrange that we would have to discard hundreds of pints of outdated blood,” said Jeannine McKamey, Medic’s director of public relations. “Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days; for other components it is even shorter,” she said.
“This year our problem is the opposite,” said McKamey. “In fact, our inventories of several blood types have been chronically short all year despite a record increase in collections. The 26 hospitals supplied by Medic donors simply are using much more blood and blood products. This seems to be the case throughout the country.”
Donors also can give at Medic Headquarters at 1601 Ailor Avenue near downtown Knoxville, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 6:30 pm.
Co-sponsors of the Tennessee side of BIueOrange are News Talk 99 Radio and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, which is contributing a pint of ice cream or frozen yogurt to each donor. Donors also will receive Medic’s Family Blood Coverage.
Blood Drive Schedule
Wednesday, November 20
UT Student Center,
all week 9 am to 4 pm
South Carrick Hall
1 pm to 8 pm