Students from all the nurse anesthesia programs in the state gathered July 31 at Pryes Brewing for the first, in-person social since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this event, students were encouraged to see which school could have students donate the most blood and win the inaugural Blood Bowl traveling trophy. More than 3 gallons of blood was donated with Saint Mary’s University taking home the trophy.

“The idea came from a conversation with Dr. Gordon [Saint Mary’s nurse anesthesia program director] about the critical blood shortage we were having across the nation,” said Franklin Michael, SRNA, organizer of the event and Saint Mary’s nurse anesthesia student. “Summer is usually a time when blood supplies run low, but those seasonal factors were compounded by the pandemic. Discussions with other student representatives on the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA) confirmed that some surgical cases that require blood products to be on hand were being delayed or canceled. We (the student reps) had been planning an all-school social event, so I suggested we add a friendly competition to the social.”

Other participating schools included Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, Mayo College of Health Science, and the University of Minnesota.

If you are interested in donating blood, learn more and find a donation site near you by visiting the American Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or Memorial Blood Centers at mbc.org.

“It is truly one of the easiest ways to save a life,” said Michael.

Photo caption: Nurse anesthesia students from Saint Mary’s University, Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, Mayo College of Health Science, and the University of Minnesota.

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