Blood Drives Community Goodwill

Emily Fong, Staff Writer

Leadership partnered with Blood Centers of the Pacific to hold the blood drive on Friday, April 12. The drive, held on campus, was open to any member of the community willing to donate.

Blood Centers of the Pacific has been working with the Lamorinda community to sponsor similar events at other schools such as Acalanes, Miramonte, and Las Lomas, according to ASB officer Hadley Swanson.

Donors must first meet a series of requirements in order to give blood.

A donor must be at least 16 years old and weigh enough to maintain a 3500 mL blood volume. The weight requirement is dependent on the donor’s height. A taller donor has a lower weight requirement than a shorter donor because a taller donor would have more blood circulating in their body.  Minors must receive permission from their parent or guardian. 1 pint of donated blood can help up to 3 people who need blood or blood components, according to Blood Centers of the Pacific. Donors usually give only 1 pint, but the option to give an additional pint of blood depends on the total blood volume of the donor.

Leadership planned the event about a week in advance, many officers being in contact with representatives from Blood Centers of the Pacific over Spring Break, according to Swanson. An advisor from the Blood Centers of the Pacific came in to work out possible dates and helped to plan the event.

Swanson initially hoped to have at least 100 donors, and was pleased to see the students coming to participate. “I think it’s awesome that people were donating. A lot of my friends came out to donate even though I didn’t think they were going to. But they did, and it makes me happy to see that people are willing to help others by giving blood since it’s so easy,” said Swanson.

Most appreciated Leadership’s efforts in bringing the drive to campus. “I probably wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t at school,” said sophomore Hayley Lyon.

Among the most common reasons given by students for not donating were a dislike of needles and blood. “I’m not exactly like, ‘woo needles!’ but I can stand it. I know a lot of people have a fear of blood,” said Lyon. Additionally, the weight requirements disqualified many potential donors.

However, there were other restrictions as well. Senior Dana Conley was prevented from donating because she had gotten ear piercings with a needle instead of a gun within the last year. Also, she had recently visited countries where malaria is common. “I was disappointed at first, but after thinking about it I knew I probably shouldn’t give my blood,” she said.

Senior Jessi Gunn was also denied. Gunn, who was born in England and lived there during the country’s Mad Cow disease epidemic, was automatically rejected. Gunn said, “I didn’t even get to the point where they tested my blood for iron or anything.”

Besides the goodwill that donors gained from donating, they also received n sticker and a “pretty sick tee shirt,” according to Lyon.