School hosts UCLA blood donation drive

Jensen Pak

Around 50 students and faculty members participated in a blood drive sponsored by the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center in Chalmers on Friday, Nov. 16, Blood Drive Committee Co-President Caitlin Yee ’13 said. The Blood Drive Committee organized the first of two blood drives that will be held this year, the second of which will be sponsored by the Red Cross.

“We’re trying to focus on the ‘why’ factor of donating, and how one person can actually make a difference,” Blood Drive Committee co-president Emily Plotkin ’13 said. “Every time you donate blood, you can save up to three lives, so it really is a great opportunity and way to help out the community.”

In order to donate blood, students must be at least 16 years old with a signed parent permission slip or 17 years old without one.

“Donated blood plays a vital role in a vast number of surgeries, cancer treatments, organ transplants, and other life saving procedures that occur every day,” Yee ’13 said. “Unfortunately, patients undergoing these treatments are at risk since blood banks suffer from a chronic shortage of blood. This danger is even more eminent for patients in our area since Los Angeles residents donate blood at the lowest rate out of any city in the nation, making patients in our region dependent on imported blood from other parts of the country.”

After signing up, students went to Chalmers East/West during a designated free period.  Before donating, students answered a questionnaire and read an informative pamphlet that included information on how to take care of themselves after donating.  A nurse then tested each student’s blood type and asked a series of medical questions.  Only after this procedure were students ready to give blood. The process of donating blood usually took 10 minutes, Plotkin said. The student, provided with food, was required to wait 15 minutes before they were allowed to leave.

The blood from this drive will help supply the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center’s blood banks.