University of Kentucky holds ‘MedMadness’ Blood Donation Competition

The competition is between University of Kentucky College of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is encouraging people to donate blood, especially as Kentucky and the nation experience a blood shortage.

The MedMadness Blood Donation Competition is happening for the entire month of January, and people who wish to participate can donate blood at any Kentucky Blood Center location.

The competition is between UK College of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Third year UK medical student Jodi Llanora, who helped start the event in May 2020, says she wanted the event to be a way for medical students to give back.

“Really, we wanted to make that event a thing so that students would be able to contribute directly and help out where they could throughout the midst of the pandemic,” said Llanora.

According to the Kentucky Blood Center, Kentucky hospitals and healthcare facilities are struggling to have enough blood on its shelves.

“Off and on throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen critical blood shortages, not just in Kentucky but in most of the nation, which unfortunately makes it more worrisome, because there’s not blood anywhere to be had,” said Kentucky Blood Center Vice President of External Relations Mandy Brajuha.

According to Brajuha, there is no substitute for human blood, and the only way hospitals and healthcare facilities obtain blood is through blood donation. Brajuha continues that it’s critical for enough blood to be available to the patients who need it.

“When there’s not blood on the shelves, patients at the hospitals don’t have the products they need to sustain life, if it’s a trauma or an accident, or a woman loses blood during childbirth, or a cancer patient that needs to replenish their system after chemo…if we don’t have blood on the shelves, that’s impacting their ability to live,” said Brajuha.

Medical students are donating blood at the Kentucky Blood Center at all 6 locations in Kentucky throughout the month of January, and donation scores between the three schools are being updated each week on the UK College of Medicine’s MedMadness Facebook page.

Anyone can donate blood as part of the MedMadness competition; just specify to the front desk at any Kentucky Blood Center location that yo are participating.

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