UMN Crookston’s blood drive brings in 49 volunteers

Crookston Times

    University of Minnesota hosted a blood drive with Vitalant on April 6 at the University of Minnesota which helped collect a total of 41 units of blood products for patients in need.

    A total of 49 individuals volunteered to donate blood and 36 individuals were able to donate at the Vitalant blood drive on April 6. A total of five donors also came forward to donate Power Red Cells (2RBC) which collects two units of red blood cells while returning platelets, plasma and a saline solution back to the donor. There were 20 people who volunteered for the first time.

Vitalant expressed their gratitude to Nan Widseth, who coordinated the drive, and SAAC and GEE which sponsored the blood drive.

    Living through a pandemic can lead to many uncertainties, although one thing we are sure of, is that the need for blood never ceases. Blood is only useable for 42 days, so a constant supply is always needed, no matter the season.

    Vitalant is currently testing all successful blood, platelet and plasma donations for the foreseeable future for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If your donation is antibody positive, Vitalant can produce convalescent plasma from it to help COVID patients, additionally the remaining blood components will help other patients with serious medical conditions. Antibodies are proteins within plasma that help fight off infections.

    Because antibodies are part of the body's immune response and not the virus itself, antibody testing cannot be used to diagnose current coronavirus infection. Please postpone your donation if you are feeling unwell or suspect you may have COVID-19.

    Individuals must be symptom free for at least 28 days to be eligible to give blood. Learn more about finding ways to help patients during COVID by visiting

    Donors can make a convenient appointment to give blood at or by calling 877-25-VITAL. With each donation, donors receive a free total cholesterol test.

    Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Health History Questionnaire the day they donate on