Opinion: If you can donate blood, you should

Yahaira Rodriguez, Managing Editor

The American Red Cross’ second blood drive of the year was held on April 9 and, thankfully, 154 students donated blood. However, even though this was a large group of donors, the officers’ goal was to have more than 200 people to donate and for the first time in years, the Red Cross Club was not able to reach their goals.

“Every year we have over 200 people donating but this year we were short by close to 50,” said senior Britney Nguyen, co-president of the Red Cross Club. “Even if it may have been by a few numbers, it was still sad not being able to reach our goal.”

A common fact that was spread among the school is by donating blood one could save three lives. This is extremely important because with one dosage of blood you could become a superhero. Everyday people of all ages are in and out of hospitals who are need of blood. With some of the blood donated of the drive, people can live a good and healthy life.

“Donating blood is really saving a life,” school nurse Shannon Brown said. “As a nurse who worked in the hospital, I watched first hand a trauma patient who came to our hospital with life threatening injuries. If the doctors did not have blood available, the patient would have definitely died. Then in our Neonatal ICU, the smallest of babies who desperately needed blood transfusions to stay alive. Even closer to our Mater Dei family, a student shared yesterday that Kiki posted her recent blood transfusion. What if there was no blood for Kiki? Giving blood is a way we can directly help others in such a meaningful way.”

Senior Kiki Kitsinis is a student who is currently battling leukemia and has received several blood transfusions during her treatment. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, “blood transfusion using cells donated by healthy volunteers can help replace red cells, platelets and other blood components.” 

“Blood transfusions are made possible by those who are willing to donate their blood at blood drives just like the ones hosted by Mater Dei. The use of blood transfusions personally impacts me because the one I will be receiving in a few days will allow me to have enough blood in my body to be able to attend my senior prom,” Kitsinis said. “If it weren’t for the pints of blood that are kindly donated, people like me wouldn’t be able to participate in events, or more importantly, maintain a healthy blood count.”

Donating blood not only helps others, but it’s also a way to help yourself. According to Amen Clinics, blood donors could live longer, lower their iron levels, and reduce their cancer risk, among other benefits. By giving blood, one can lead a healthier life by just spending an hour at a donating center. However, the website advises that a person only donate blood every 56 days.

So what can be done? Donate blood today. If you are interested in donating blood, contact Brown at [email protected] or the Red Cross directly on their website.