As local hospitals prepare to tackle a significant backlog of surgeries, medical treatments and procedures that require blood transfusions, the University of Oregon is stepping up to bolster the local supply.
The UO is partnering with Bloodworks Northwest to host a pop-up donor center on campus June 4-6 and 11-13 to help meet the growing need for blood in the Eugene-Springfield area.
“Mounting requests from hospitals are outpacing current collection levels,” said Curt Bailey, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest. “Now more than ever the act of donating blood is a way for people to care for their community. Thankfully, the University of Oregon is rallying to make donation possible in this crucial time.”
Social distancing recommendations have put a strain on opportunities to donate, as traditional blood drives and bloodmobiles are temporarily unavailable. In response, Bloodworks has turned to a new model for donation drives.
Larger venues allow for proper physical distance between people, and an appointment-only system eliminates the need for lines. With spring classes being delivered remotely and on-campus activities limited to critical functions, the UO has a multitude of spaces available that fit the requirements.
“The University of Oregon is part of the wider Lane County community and we have a responsibility to help where we can,” said Matt Roberts, senior director of community relations. “Our local health care system is in need, and the UO has the ability to set up a pop-up blood donation center in a safe, socially distanced way. So partnering with Bloodworks Northwest on this blood drive is a great way to do our part.”
Appointments can be made online, with availability from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. Donation takes about an hour from registration to post-donation refreshment. Room information and check-in instructions are provided on the scheduling form.
In accordance with current social distancing guidelines, only scheduled appointments will be allowed. The University of Oregon campus remains closed to the public; no walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted on site.
Donors are required to wear a mask or face covering and are asked to bring their own. All blood types are urgently needed, but type O is especially in demand. Donors are encouraged to wear UO gear to their appointment to show their Duck pride.
Donors will receive a voucher for a free personal pizza from Papa’s Pizza and free parking is available to donors in Lot 29A beside the Erb Memorial Union. Donations will support local hospitals such as PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District and McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, and are used in the treatment of cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and severely ill COVID-19 patients, among others.