GRANDVIEW, Ohio (WCMH) — The annual Blood Battle between Ohio State University and Michigan is underway.
Michigan won the blood drive last year, but OSU is hoping to collect 1,500 donations with Blood Battle representatives say it goes beyond winning this year, as blood donations have seen a shortage.
The Blood Battle began in 1982 in which the month-long challenge pits OSU against Michigan to see which university can collect the most blood donations.
“If blood goes off the shelves, what do we do?” said Versiti Blood Center account representative Katy Wolfe. Versiti is a local blood health research institute that conducts the Blood Battle every year.
Though COVID-19 cases are continuing to surge, we can’t forget that other people are battling other medical issues, too.
“People are still, unfortunately, getting in accidents and needing transfusions, there are cancer patients,” Wolfe said.
If people need a bigger motivation, this year, anyone who donates one unit of blood will have their unit undergo a COVID-19 antibody testing.
“A lot of people are like, ‘I think I had it back in March. I think I had COVID back in November,’ and this is a great way to give back and find out if you did have COVID,” Wolfe said.
For those who did get the virus or are recovering from it, Versiti will be collecting plasma to help treat those suffering from COVID-19.
“What that means is, it doesn’t mean that you have it right now,” Wolfe said. “It just means that, at one point, you were exposed to COVID-19 and your body has developed antibodies towards the infection.”
The next Blood Battle drive for the general public will be held Nov. 21 at the Columbus Convention Center. There will be several smaller blood drives, mostly for OSU students, throughout the week.
More information can be found on https://www.versiti.org/events.