SEMO Greek Week helps critical blood shortage

Spring Greek week blood drive in Cape

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Hundreds gave blood during a Greek Week event to help the critical shortage of blood.

The American Red Cross and Southeast Missouri State University teamed up for their annual Spring Greek Week Blood in Cape Girardeau this week.

They exceeded their goal of 800 blood donors, which includes more than 250 first-time donors at the recreation center at Southeast Missouri State University.

They also test to see if a person has COVID-19 antibodies as well.

“We test all donated blood for COVID antibodies,” Red Cross Account Representative Michelle Johnson said. “If you do find out if you do have the COVID antibodies, you can donate convalescent plasma, which goes to help somebody in a hospital who’s struggling with COVID.”

Johnson said after two weeks, you can call the Red Cross or check on their app to see if you do have COVID antibodies.

Johnson also said they have a critical blood shortage which means they need more donors.

“We do need people to come out and donate because the levels are critical which means we struggle to supply the hospitals the blood that they need and that’s never a good thing,” Johnson said. “We are down to less than 3 percent of the population that donate.”

“We don’t have enough units to sustain the hospitals to help with every person in there who’s needing blood,” Red Cross Club President Kate Appleman said. “Whether it be for cancer treatments or being for people that just had accidents or anyone in need of transfusions. Giving this blood is something that allows us to save the lives and help them to sustain their lives.”

Greek Week Director Joey Kedl said it’s great to see so many people give back.

“It means a lot because we know they’re saving so many lives just by doing a donation,” Kedl said. “A lot of people are afraid of donating or just don’t think about doing it just because they’re afraid of the needles and everything. So it’s super awesome that people are putting that aside to save lives.”

For more information, or to donate, go to the Red Cross website here.

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