The Red Cross Club held a blood drive on Mar. 12 and students throughout the day donated their blood to the INOVA blood services to help others in need.
Every year, the American Red Cross club puts on a blood drive for students.
In order to donate blood, there are a few requirements for students such as they must be 16 years or older, more than 110 pounds, and cannot be on certain medications. Donors can be eliminated based on where they have traveled, and if iron and blood pressure levels are not in range.
This year around 300-400 people signed up to donate blood, but not all could participate “I was upset when I found out my iron levels were low so I couldn’t donate,” junior Jessica Llewellyn said.
When students give blood, they get their finger pricked to see if their iron and blood pressure rates are acceptable. If so, students get their blood taken and have to wait in the gym for up to 90 minutes as they are treated with food with lots of sugar, such as apple juice, to replenish their bodies.
There are two different ways students can give blood. “There’s whole blood, which is where students donate the plasma, red, and white blood cells, platelets and other occupants. The other option is plasma donation, where the donors only donate plasma, and the rest of the components of the blood get returned to them,” junior Sydney Yen, Head of Communications, said.
If students are not able to donate blood, they can also volunteer to help make the blood drive run smoothly. “As a volunteer, I helped check donors in and made sure they had the appropriate documents. I decided to volunteer because after I had helped with making posters from the December blood drive, I wanted to volunteer more to help out a good organization,” junior Kavya Mishra said.
INOVA says it is important to donate blood if students are medically able. “I am really happy I donated blood because it makes you feel so good about yourself knowing you helped someone’s life. I hope more people donate in the future because so many people need healthy blood in order to survive,” junior Guadalupe Balangero said.