Big Blue Crush blood drive starts as the Kentucky Blood Center’s supply is ‘critically low’

Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 1:23 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The 33rd annual Big Blue Crush kicks off on Monday. It’s a blood drive battle between UK and Tenessee fans with the goal of boosting blood supply during the holidays.

Starting Monday UK and Tenessee fans will roll up their sleeves for friendly competition, but also to save lives.

“We went down to Knoxville and beat them on the field, now we want to beat them in the blood battle,” says Mandy Brajuha VP of external relations for the Kentucky Blood Center.

Brajuha shares UK has won 18 of the past 33 blood drive battles, last year by more than 900 units. But, she says the drive isn’t just about crowning a winner. This year it’s coming at a critical time for the Kentucky Blood Center.

“Quite frankly the blood supply is not great and it’s not great just for us, it’s not great across the country,” Brajuha says.

Brajua says during the pandemic fewer people have gone out to donate blood. Plus, she shares 70% of the Kentucky Blood Center’s supply is collected through mobile drives. This year there’s have been fewer drives due to COVID-19.

“We’re down, you know, 3,000 donations this fall just from high school blood drives alone,” Brajuha says.

With less blood, Brajuha says hospitals are still transfusing at a high rate.

“We’re hoping to continue our winning ways this year, we want to get another victory, mostly we want to do that for Kentucky patients and people in the hospitals needing blood transfusions right now,” Brajuha says.

Saving local lives, one donation at a time.

Big Blue Crush starts Monday and runs until November 20th.

For more information on the event, or to find out how to donate, you can visit

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