By STEPHANIE SUN
On March 3, University High School students participated in the annual March Red Cross Blood Drive. A total of 93 students donated blood, reaching the exact goal, and a total of 279 lives were saved, as each unit of blood can save three lives. Earlier this year, 98 pints of blood were donated – just 5 more than this blood drive.
The date for the Blood Drive conflicted with Irvine Valley College Day, a Marine Biology field trip and after school sports, so many who wanted to donate could not. There are also other restrictions for donating blood that always apply. Students must be at least sixteen years old by the time they donate, and sixteen year old students must have a parental consent form signed. Seventeen-year-olds or older did not need parental consent. In the last twelve months, students who donated blood were also not allowed to have tattoos or self-piercings done or have traveled to Iraq or any country where malaria is present.
In order to donate blood, students must be also meet height and weight requirements. Keerthana Karthikeyan (Jr.) said, “I wanted to donate blood, but, unfortunately, I didn’t fit the height and weight requirements. I’m glad so many other students donated blood to such a great cause!”
First time donator Anja Seng (Jr.) was anxious at first of having a needle puncture her arm, but she realized that donating blood was an opportunity to help others who need the blood and a way to challenge herself. Seng said, “To get through it, I just tried not to think about the possibility of it hurting and when they put the needle in and actually drew blood, it was slightly uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt. Even though it seems like no big deal to some people, I’m pretty proud of myself, and it was definitely worth it.”
Dillon Sun (So.) also thought the process would be painful, but felt like it was a new way to support a cause he cares for. He said, “Recently, my aunt had an emergency open-heart surgery. She needed blood from 14 different people to make it and is recovering now. Many hospitals are low on blood supplies and we have the opportunity to help fill them. I wish that I could have donated more than a pint, and I plan to keep donating from now on.”
Overall, the second Red Cross Blood Drive of the year was a success thanks to the caring students of University High School.