By ARIANA APOSTOL
The annual Blood Drive will take place on Tuesday, December 8 in the small gym. It is available to all students 17 years or older as well as 16 year old students who receive parental permission and meet certain requirements to give blood. The requirements can be found here.
The UHS Red Cross club has arranged for the American Red Cross to set up a donation center that will be available throughout the school day in the small gym.
On the day of donation, the American Red Cross asks donors to wear comfortable clothing, make sure that they are hydrated, maintain a diet rich in iron and bring an ID along with a list of the current medications they are taking.
Donating a pint of blood takes an average of eight to ten minutes, but the entire process takes about average of about an hour and fifteen minutes. The Red Cross website also reminds donors not to be nervous, as blood donation is a “very simple and very safe procedure,” so donors have no need to be nervous about donating.
Students who have signed up to donate will be temporarily excused from classes at their allotted donation time. Additionally, donors will be excused from athletics for the rest of that day and provided with snacks after donating.
Blood is constantly and universally in demand.
“We’re hoping to get 93 units donated,” Sharika Hegde (Sr.) said.
“It’s hard to imagine, but every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and it’s sad to think that while roughly 40% of Americans are eligible to donate blood, less than 10% actually do.”
The blood that each donor provides to the Red Cross can help save up to three lives.
“Giving blood is important because the blood you give can possibly help save someone’s life,” Melina Gharibian (Sr.), one of the coordinators of this blood drive, said. “All year, we’ve been pushing the hashtag #livetogive, and I personally believe that this is one of the most important opportunities Uni has for its students to give to the community.”
Many donors have personal motivations to donate. Dillon Sun (Jr.) decided to donate after a family emergency.
“Almost two years ago, my aunt had suffered a heart attack and stroke at the same time…I am so thankful she is alive and see her as much as I can,” Sun said. “During her operation, however, she used a substantial amount of donated blood. Knowing that there are other lives I can help save or impact drives me to donate.”
Donors can donate blood at a minimum interval of 56 days and must meet a series of requirements to ensure that the donation is safe for both the donors and recipients. Certain health requirements must be met and people who have traveled to certain countries within a given time period may not be eligible to donate.
UPDATE: UHS greatly exceeded their goal, receiving over 200 units of blood and had to turn additional donors away at the end of the day because there were simply too many donors and not enough time.