The Red Cross came to the University of La Verne on April 6 for a much needed blood drive.
The event lasted all day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the turnout was more than what was expected.
“Our goal was 24 donors during the morning shift, we’ve done 33,” said Lisa Valdez, nurse supervisor.
“The blood from the 33 donors will help at least 66 individuals.”
Valdez expected to have even more donors during the second shift of the day.
Unfortunately there is a high need for blood that is not being met because of a shortage of donors in Southern California.
“The week after 9/11 was the only time we have not had a shortage,” Valdez said. “People come together during times of crisis, it is amazing.”
The donation does not take long, due to a full staff of polite and efficient professionals.
The process includes reading pamphlets and answering health questions. After, iron levels are checked and if everything checks out a nurse will begin the blood drawing process which can take up to 20 minutes.
“It was really fast and easy, which makes it much more convenient to donate blood,” Julissa Cardenas, junior journalism major, said.
It was Cardenas’ third time donating blood at La Verne, something she does because she knows it saves lives.
Most of the donors were students, but some faculty members donated during the earlier part of the day.
“I feel it is important to give blood to those in need,” Gabby Hernandez, a sophomore accounting major, said. “Donating just really makes me feel good because I am able to help others out.”
Valdez also wanted to clear up the myth that high cholesterol or diabetes restricts an individual from giving blood. In fact, being a regular donor lowers the chance of heart disease by 25 to 35 percent.
Type O negative donors are universal donors, which means they can provide blood for anyone in need.
La Verne has been holding blood drives for over 10 years, and Valdez has been extremely involved during her work with the Red Cross.
As a common rule, a healthy individual can donate blood every eight weeks, as long as they are at least 110 pounds and 17 years of age.
Donating blood is healthy because each time blood is taken from your body, iron is removed. Reducing iron has been known to decrease the risk of heart disease and speed up the oxidation of cholesterol.
“What if your loved ones needed blood, and there was no blood available?” Valdez said.
The quick process, health benefits and the impact a donation has on the community makes donating blood a great cause.
Blake Humphrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.