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Blood Drive Needs Some Work
January 31, 2008 - Heather Ziegler
It was my great pleasure in recent weeks to promote the annual Media Blood Donor Day held Monday at WesBanco Arena. And I truly believe that the efforts of all the media to get the donors out to give is a great part of the success of the event. This year's event was blessed with decent weather which I believe brought more people out than in other years. But I was somewhat dismayed that the American Red Cross was not adequately prepared to handle the crowd. What has, in past years, taken no more than two hours from start to finish to donate blood, took four hours for most donors. It was obvious that there were not as many tables or blood technicians to accommodate the number of donors. I arrived at 3 p.m. and did not leave the arena until 6:45 that evening. I was among the lucky ones who were able to come after work and had the time to wait. Many didn't. I saw several people turn around and walk out even after going through the screening process because they did not have another two hours to wait. Also, when I arrived at the front, there was no one clearly in charge because there was some confusion as to where you went after you signed in. Sorry to be critical, but I put my name and reputation on the line and it was disappointing to me that there weren't more tables and personnel available. There were plenty of volunteers. I would hope that before next year's event rolls around, there is much thought put into how it can be improved. Just because the goal was 500 units of blood does not mean you don't prepare for more. I believe if there were more tables and personnel, the goal could have been doubled this year. The Ohio Valley is a generous bunch of people and the last thing you want to do is turn them away.
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