The American Red Cross Calls for Mater Dei Blood Donors

The American Red Cross Calls for Mater Dei Blood Donors

Olivia Mosesman , Staff Writer

On Thursday, April 6, Mater Dei hosted a blood drive in the Monarch Pavilion from 9am to 3pm.

“I donate blood to help lives and I feel like it’s a great thing to do,” said Joseph Yeste, a blood donor.

Organized by the American Red Cross, and the Red Cross Club, the blood drive aims to collect blood donations to help patients in Orange County who are in need of blood, such as trauma patients and people in need of transfusions.

“I think it’s a good way to give back to your community,” said Linda Paliska, moderator of the Red Cross Club.

Members of the Red Cross Club visited religion classes for grades ten and above, to teach eligible students the importance of donating blood.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 16 years of age, be at a healthy weight, have no piercings or tattoos done within the past year and have not traveled to certain regions within a year.

Each blood donation can save up to three lives. Blood is stored in refrigerators for up to 42 days and shipped to hospitals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I think students should donate blood because it’s the easiest, yet most important thing we can do as students at Mater Dei, and a lot of people underestimate an impact that each donation has,” said Charlie Wiggs, president of the Red Cross Club.

When Wiggs was 13-years-old, he lost half of his blood while getting his tonsils removed and almost died. He is still here today because he had two blood transfusions.

“Ever since then, I feel like I have an obligation to donate, but also to spread the awareness that truly, you never know who is going to go through trauma and every donation counts,” said Wiggs.

Wiggs encourages anyone who is eligible to donate blood to donate, including those who have a fear of needles. Wiggs understands this fear, and believes that people can overcome it.

“Needles aren’t that bad. Everybody always gets freaked out about the needle, and really, you barely even feel it,” Wiggs said.

Blood donation is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then it is discarded.

Millions of people are in need of blood. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

Millions of people donate blood each year, but they are not the only eligible people who can donate. An estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, but only 10% of that eligible population do each year.

Blood can only come from donors. If 100% of the people eligible to donate blood made donations each year, millions of lives could be saved.