Blood Drive Amidst A Nationwide Blood Shortage

Anya Gruener and Sara Gelrud

On Feb. 16, HEAL club partnered with One Blood to motivate and help students to donate blood to people in need.

“Anyone donating blood can save lives. And so with one donation, you can save up to three different lives. By being able to donate blood, you’re not just helping the people you’re saving but you’re also showing the community that you’re stepping up and participating as well,” said HEAL club sponsor Laura Keepax.

With this idea in mind, multiple students decided to step up and donate.

“I had a really good experience donating blood. It’s just a super quick and easy process and it’s totally worth it because you can help out other people that actually need it,” said donor Alessandra DeMise.

Students like DeMise have the option of choosing from there different types of donations

“We have three different procedures here. We have whole blood which is the regular donation. We have the whole red cells and platelets,” said platelet donor recruiter Yenjany Gorgory.

After the procedures have been completed, the blood doesn’t go far.

“All of our blood stays local because the demand for blood is always constant and every three seconds in the US, somebody needs blood,” said One Blood Account Representative Julio Cassels.

Along with the constant need for blood is the lack of supply caused by a nationwide shortage.

“Ever since Covid, it made it into such a shortage because people are no longer coming out to donate. So whenever you come and you donate blood what we do is basically just process everything and give it to the hospitals. And then if we don’t have it on our shelves, then the hospitals can’t perform surgeries because they always need to have backup blood just in case,” said Phlebotomy Team Leader Cinthia Zeron.

Adding to the shortage is the lack of individuals who are eligible to donate.

“It’s always in demand and only about 36% of the U.S. population can donate. There’s about 330 million people so really not a lot of us support everybody who needs blood,” said Cassels.

There are numerous reasons why someone may not be able to donate blood.

“Depending on sometimes if you’ve lived in a foreign country and you have exposure to some contaminants in that country that doesn’t allow you to. Some medical histories, if you’re underweight, a lot of kids unfortunately who have low iron, if you’re on different medications, if you’ve had certain illnesses recently, if you’re on antibiotics. There’s all sorts of different reasons why kids can’t donate,” said Keepax.

Despite this, the community has come together and donated an ample amount of necessary resources.

“I would say it’s been a pretty decent success. I would say we’ve gotten a pretty sufficient amount of donors for this point. For the future plans of this kind of event I would prefer to have planned this more just to have sort of a push so that we get more and more donations,” said HEAL club president Hernan Rodriguez.

Will you be donating next year?