By Kyle Nathan Sumida

Red Cross is hosting its biannual blood drive next Friday in the school library from 9am to 2pm.

Donors will be donating blood, which will then be distributed out to local medical services around the Bay Area.  During this time of the year, accidents are more prone to occur, meaning that more patients are in need of blood transfusions.

“On average, just to maintain the blood supply for each day in San Jose, you need about 450 pints.  Our blood drive tends to raise about over 60 pints per drive,” informs Co-president Grace Chit.  One donation can save up to three lives.  “While we are one of the larger high school blood drives in the district and in the Bay Area, it’s still not enough.”

Members of the club will be distributing appointment cards to students that are interested in participating.  Walk-ins are permitted, but Co-president Neil Brahmbhatt advises to plan ahead and be aware of the requirements.

“It’s good to look over the requirements to see if you’re eligible, so you do not waste class time,” informs Neil.

In order to become a blood donor, you have to be at least 16 years of age with a signed waiver from a legal guardian, which is needed by next Monday.  Those that are 17 and older are not required to turn in said waiver, but there are still height and weight requirements regardless of age.  Male students are required to be at least 5’1” in height and weigh 110 pounds; the requirements for female students vary upon each added inch.

Female students who weigh at least 110 pounds but are shorter than 5’6” must be at a minimum weight to qualify: 4’10’’ and 146 pounds; 4’11” and 142 pounds; 5” and 138 pounds; 5’1” and 133 pounds; 5’2” and 129 pounds; 5’3” and 124 pounds; 5’4” and 120 pounds; and 5’5” and 115 pounds.

Those that are seeking to become a blood donor should start consuming more iron-rich foods, such as seafood, poultry, red meat, beans, dried fruit, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables.  A lack of iron in one’s blood system may postpone their donation.  To encourage healthier eating habits, the Red Cross Club will be hosting a feast today.

A blood drive representative from the Blood Centers of the Pacific will be assisting the officers and members of the club during the event.  Other Red Cross clubs in our district will also be having their own blood drives, but not through the Blood Centers of the Pacific.  During the event, free refreshments and complimentary T-shirts will be provided for the participants.


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