USC hosts annual blood drive

March 7, 2023

Blood drive planned to address nationwide blood shortage


Grace Medrano

DONATE NOW. USC runs a sign up table in the English Commons on Feb. 20.

The USA is experiencing a blood shortage. In Jan. 2020, Red Cross declared its first-ever national blood crisis, desperate for donations.

The Upper School Council collaborates with a representative from American Red Cross who reaches out annually. USC then finds eligible donors to contribute to the drive. Senior Clea Gaitas-Sur said, “We run a sign-up booth about two weeks before the blood drive, and day of, USC members find alternates, monitor recovery, and run the sign-in and sign-out.”

Sophomore Cerena Karmaliani said, “What tends to happen is we get like double or triple the amount of people that we need, but a lot of people back out last minute, so on the day of we get the exact amount that we would need.”

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States requires blood every two seconds. That is an estimated 29,000 units of blood needed every day.

Donors will be providing one pint of blood out of the 10 to 11 pints contained in the human body. The process takes around 10 minutes, though donors are encouraged to remain in the area for 15 minutes after to ensure no complications ensue.

“It’s a really cool opportunity. If you’re eligible, please try and donate. If you can help in any little way, it helps a big issue,” Karmaliani said.

The blood drive is hosted today in the Small Gym. All reserved slots were filled in advance.

This story was originally published in the March issue of The Rubicon. It was updated to include the correct location of the Blood Drive, as it was moved from Driscoll to the Small Gym.

Blood drive donates 32 units of blood to the American Red Cross

On Tuesday, the Upper School Council partnered with the American Red Cross for the annual blood drive.

With 40 people signed up to donate, the blood drive was set to exceed expectations from the beginning. Even after eight individuals had to drop out of the drive due to complications such as missing registration documents or health concerns, the 32 units of blood donated by students and faculty members surpassed the results of years past.

“32 participants is pretty good since the Red Cross set a goal of 22 units, and we were even told that we had to cancel a few appointments since they ran out of bags to use. Last year, we collected 30 units, and the Blood Drive from 2019 only collected 19 units, so we are pretty proud of the results this year,” USC co-president Tenzin Bawa said.

Organization and planning efforts by USC were crucial to the success of the blood drive. USC representatives served as volunteers to help streamline the donation process and united with other student groups to ensure the blood drive ran smoothly.

“I think it’s really important for the elected-selected groups to support one another’s endeavors, so when they reached out to SAC about helping with the drive, I knew I wanted to be a volunteer,” Student Activities Committee representative Lily Malloy said.

Volunteers were responsible for checking donors in, contacting alternates in the case of unexpected absences, providing participants with snacks, and tracking their recovery time after donation. It is recommended to stay hydrated and eat something soon after a blood donation, while being monitored for negative side effects for at least 10 minutes after giving blood.

32 participants is pretty good since the Red Cross set a goal of 22 units,

— Tenzin Bawa

With the ongoing national blood crisis that threatens patient care, donations collected during the drive will be used to treat people with blood disorders, accident victims, cancer patients, individuals in need of blood transfusions, and so many more.

“It was nice to know I’m making a difference in an easy way. All the donations will be used to help people who need it, which definitely overshadows any nervousness I had during the process because it can be a little overwhelming at first,” senior Solvej Eversoll said.

All blood drive donors were entered into a lottery to receive a special prize that will be announced in the coming weeks.

To look for future donation opportunities, see the Red Cross website.

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