UHS Hosts Annual Blood Drive


Timi Fang

A student gets ready to have their blood drawn in the Small Gym.

Nour Khayat, Staff Writer

UHS hosted the first blood drive of the year on Monday, Dec. 6. Donors arrived as early as 8:30 a.m. in the small gym, which was transformed into a mobile clinic. The beds were arranged in rows, each with an ALYX machine at its side. This machine collects two units of red blood cells instead of one during a single donation and it is able to separate the blood into layers of plasma, white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells based on weight. ALYX machines typically take longer than basic apheresis machines, at an average of forty-five minutes per session. 

Seniors and ASB Service Project Commissioners Asher Do and Deven Gupta brought back the blood drive to UHS after its absence the past two years due to COVID-19.

“I think this year, it was a little bit more difficult to get signups or at least spread the word because the past two years there’s been no blood drives. Also, donating blood—people don’t really do that often,” Do said. 

Do and Gupta took a different approach this year to get signups. While there were the typical flyers taped up around the school and information posted on the @uhstrojanarmy Instagram page, their new method included greater involvement from other ASB members. 

“This year we decided to use groups of people in ASB. We had five different groups and those groups would go out with Chromebooks at lunch or snack and basically ask people if they wanted to sign up,” Do said. 

With the help of the ASB members, Do and Gupta reached their goal for Blood Drive signups.

“We had a goal of about 90 to 100 signups. We were able to reach 97 [signups, but] obviously there were cancellations that we knew were going to happen. We really only had the capacity for 60 or 70, so we tried to go over the limit to account for all those cancellations,” Do said. 

While the blood drive is facilitated by ASB, the setup for the actual day of the blood drive is run by the Red Cross.

Senior Ben Curtis was one of the many students to donate blood. 

“I’ve always wanted to do the blood drive. I have seen others do it and my dad do it and I thought it would be cool to participate in it. Having it at the school is a great opportunity for us students to give back to our community,” Curtis said. “It was a lot different than I had expected, mostly because of how long it took. I was thinking it would only take about 20-30 minutes, but it ended up taking about two hours for me.”

Another donor, senior Dylan Nguyen, describes how much of his motivation for donating blood came from a desire to help the community.

I signed up for the blood drive after hearing about it from my friend Deven who was passing out flyers publicizing the event. I also wanted to just give back to the community because it’s gratifying to know that you are helping someone out there who needs it,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen also found that the donation process took longer than expected. 

Overall, I think I grew a lot from the experience because I have been scared of needles for a while, so I just wanted to try something outside of my comfort zone. However, the experience took a lot longer for me,” Nguyen said. “I was in the small gym for a little over two hours, missing periods two through four when I thought I would only be missing second period.” 

ASB plans to host another blood drive in the coming months.

“We’re having one during the second semester in February. It will go through the same process with the Red Cross,” Do said. 

Students can refer to the @uhstrojanarmy Instagram page for further information regarding the next blood drive.