Monarchs giving blood

Every month, American Red Cross comes to Valley seeking blood donations.

by Amanda Cavarretta, Staff Writer

The American Red Cross visited Valley College for their monthly blood drive on Thursday, when about 40 students, faculty and staff  donated blood at Monarch Hall.

Valley student Raul Dron has been donating blood since he was in high school.

“I try to donate as much as possible,” Dron said. “It helps a lot of people and is a great thing to do for the community.”

Before someone gives blood, registration and a mini-physical are required. When taking blood, the donation process averages approximately eight minutes in length. During that time, one pint of blood is taken. 

“For eight minutes, you get to save up to three lives,” said American Red Cross account manager Susan Josephson. 

According to Red Cross officials,  38% of the population is eligible to give blood. Of that statistic,  eight percent donate. The Red Cross reports that every two seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion. Because donated blood has a shelf life 42 days, constant donations are important. Blood donations can be made from someone every 56 days.

According to the Guardian Liberty Voices, donating blood “reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer.” It removes excess iron, which can be damaging to one’s health.

“It’s important that we help save lives,” said Josephson. “At some part in our lives, it will be one of us.”

American Red Cross collects most of their donations from high school and college blood drives. The blood collected is brought to 150 hospitals in southern California.

When donating blood, the donator is encouraged to eat and stay well-hydrated before and after giving blood, as opposed to giving blood for analysis, where eating and drinking prior is discouraged.

There are a number of reasons that can defer someone from donating blood including the flu, a cold, or antibiotics in the system. For questions about donor eligibility, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

The next blood drive will be on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. Students are encouraged to get involved with the blood drives.  If interested, contact Susan Josephson via email: susan.josephson@redcross.org

“Know that there is someone in the hospital right now who needs your blood,” said Josephson. 

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