Kentucky Blood Center ‘crushes’ Tennessee in ‘Big Blue Crush’ competition

Kentucky Blood Center ‘crushes’ Tennessee in ‘Big Blue Crush’ competition
Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 1:54 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For more than three decades, UK and Tennessee fans have taken the rivalry from the football field to the blood drive with ‘Big Blue Crush.’

This year, donors helped the Kentucky Blood Center beat Tennessee’s MEDIC Regional Blood Center 2,199-2,067. Even after last week’s win, KBC says they still need more donors.

“It’s one of our biggest events at KBC every year and a big push to get people to donate in advance of the thanksgiving holiday week. we know that’s a time when unfortunately donations are going to do down,” said Director of Media and Branding for Kentucky Blood Center, Eric Lindsey.

This year’s total was KBC’s most since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted operations and donor turnout.

“Numbers have just never been the same. we have seen some modest improvements, some encouraging signs over the last year. Donors are starting to get back into the habit. People who have stopped donating have come back. This event is another encouraging sign for us to look at that maybe we’re starting to return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Lindsey.

KBC blood donations supply more than 70 hospitals across Kentucky. Blood transfusions are used for everything from cancer treatments to car accidents.

The Big Blue Crush helps stock the shelves before Thanksgiving week, but they still need more donors.

“That need for blood never slows down. Yes we want to pat ourselves on the back a little bit say, ‘hey, great week,’ we’re really proud of what we did but that doesn’t mean that we can then forget about blood donation,” said Lindsey.

KBC donor centers will be open Monday and Tuesday under normal hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) during Thanksgiving week. Donor centers will close on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Donor centers will be open Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Blood donors must be at least 17-years-old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. 16-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at