First Day of Pennsic Blood Drive: A Qualified Success

His Majesty Pieter van Doorn led a parade of blood donors to the first day of the blood drive today. The Red Cross blood drive at Pennsic had a goal of 45 donors today (Friday) and a goal of 65 donors this coming Monday. Today's drive, with most of Pennsic's estimated 12,000 attendees not yet on site, fell a little short of that, but the Red Cross representatives on site said they were "pleased" with the result nonetheless. According to Linda Owens, Red Cross representative, 32 pints were collected of a goal of 45. 45 people actually offered to donate, but 13 were deferred for various medical reasons (such as travelling to countries where communicable diseases are a major problem, or elevated body temperature). There were two first-time donors. Nine of the other donors were new to this particular region.

A preliminary count has the East Kingdom in first place with the Middle Kingdom just one (!) donor behind in the friendly competition. His Majesty of the Midrealm was the first donor in line today.

Pennsic's "middle Friday" typically is a day when many people are just arriving and setting up camp, so getting volunteers to give blood during such a busy day can be difficult.

By Monday, Pennsic's population will nearly double, and the organizers of the drive are optimistic that many more gentles will come out to donate.

The Coopers Lake staff have arranged a special stop on the parking shuttle route for the blood drive both days, so there is very little walking required. Donors spend about an hour in an air conditioned church basement.

Appointments for Monday's blood drive are still available, and signups are at the reception table at Chirurgeon's Point. The last signup is Sunday evening, but walk-ins on Monday are welcome.

Iustinos Tekton, Pennsic 32 War Chirurgeon, says that people who plan to give blood at Pennsic should pay extra attention to hydration before and after donating, and should follow the Red Cross instructions for post-donation (especially those regarding moderation of alcohol intake and physical activity). The donations take place in a clean church near Pennsic, for better sanitation than could be obtained on site. Iustinos was the last donor of the day today.

SCA members who cannot give blood for medical reasons are still invited to volunteer at the blood drive, helping with the refreshment table and other non-medical areas.