Chargers give blood in annual drive

Throughout the school day on Thursday, Jan. 26, students occupied the school’s media center, waiting patiently to donate blood in the school’s blood drive.

The school’s Red Cross club members began by escorting students through the room and ensuring that students felt comfortable. American Red Cross volunteers then assisted each donor through the donation process and provided snacks and beverages to replenish each donor’s blood sugar.

In preparation for the drive, Associated Student Body (ASB) distributed forms and waivers, ensured that students fit the requirements for donation, advertised the event and contacted Red Cross volunteers for assistance. On the day of the drive, American Red Cross representatives brought equipment needed for the process and collected all the donations at the end of the day.

“The ASB class and blood drive committee were glad to organize this event, as it is a rewarding way to make sure the school is doing something to benefit the community around us,” Senior Sana Nikhoo, ASB commissioner,said.

In total, 53 students signed up to donate blood; however, only 43 were eligible for donation—ten students were turned away due to either having visited a foreign country, not meeting weight requirements or having irregularities in blood iron levels. Prior to donating, each student was required to show valid photo identification, obtain parental consent and engage in a confidential screening and physical exam with a Red Cross representative for safety precautions.

After the drive, the blood was sent to a laboratory to be scanned in a computer database and to test for blood type, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis. Donors are to be notified of positive test results, which will remain confidential. After being tested, the blood is eligible to be used in hospitals throughout the Santa Clara County; in fact, each donation is estimated to save up to three lives.

The annual blood drive is only one of the school’s events that serve to help others in the community, along with events such as Pennies for Patients and Can Jam.

“ I chose to donate my blood because there are many others who are not fortunate enough to be in as good health as a typical high school student like me. As teenagers, we should see the school blood drive as an opportunity to give to others,” Senior Zena Wang said.