By Maddie Nerad
Student Government, in partnership with the University of California at Los Angeles Blood and Platelet Center, held a blood drive in Fisher Gym on June 7 and 8.
Over 500 students and teachers signed up to donate blood, and about half of these students were able to donate after meeting all the prerequisites. A total of 253 pints were donated.
“Our school record is 254 pints over the span of two days,” Activities Director Lisa Claypoole said. “This year our goal was 260 pints, and we came very close.”
Potential donors had to be at least 17 years old, or 16 with a guardian’s permission. Prerequisites to donate included questions about pregnancy, weight, tattoos, international travels and any medications.
“The screening process takes the longest, but it’s definitely important,” senior Austin Ahn said. “I didn’t pass screening the past three years so I was happy that I was able to donate this year.”
During recovery, students were given snacks and could go back to class as soon as they felt strong enough to do so. Most students were pulled out of class for somewhere between one to two hours.
“To draw the pint of blood, it takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and if it takes any more than that they will usually stop,” Claypoole said. “The rest of the time comes from waiting in line and filling out all the paperwork and forms.”
According to the UCLA Blood and Platlet Center, one pint of blood from each donor can save three lives.
“The blood goes to the UCLA Medical center where it is processed,” head nurse Khatcha Shahnazarian said. “All the blood we collect is used at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.”
UCLA holds the drive at Mira Costa twice a year. It also holds many other community blood drives and offers incentives, such as AMC movie passes, to motivate people to donate. People can also make an appointment at the UCLA medical center to donate blood.
“It is part of our civic duty to help out the many kids and adults who need blood to get healthy,” Shahnazarian said.