Blood drive draws student interest


Natalie Doud

Madison Palarca-Wong, a senior, calmly watches a blood technician draw her blood.

Natalie Doud, Editor-in-Chief

Instead of going to their classes on Thursday, 89 students signed up to give blood.

ASB’s Do Something commission sets up two blood drives each school year, collecting around one pint of viable blood from each donor. The blood drive is a well-known event planned for months in advance by ASB members with the recruitment of willing participants beginning about two weeks prior to the drive.

The commission secured 89 volunteers to donate this year, surpassing their ultimate goal of 56 registrants and a maximum of 72.

“For the first blood drive of the year, we expected less donors because not as many people are 16 and eligible to donate blood,” said Clara Vltavsky, a senior and supervisor of ASB.

Medical technicians from the Stanford Blood Center came to draw blood from each student that volunteered to donate. Multiple chairs were set up around the student union with one trained technician at each station ready to inject the patient with a needle.

The donors anxiously sat at each station with nerves boiling as they waited for the injection that will serve to help the many in need. Before the blood sampling, the technician cleaned the area of the participant’s arm that will be punctured and used a blood donation kit to draw from a vein in their arm.

Natalie Doud
Two blood technicians from Stanford hold up a pint of blood that is ready to be donated.

In contrast to previous years, ASB has been operating with Stanford Blood Center instead of Red Cross.

“It’s really interesting to see the evolution from how we started with Red Cross, and now the past two years we’ve been working with Stanford and how much this change has benefited the planning process and the experience of our students,” Vltavsky said.

After donating blood, each donor had a variety of iron sufficient food to choose from which was graciously provided by the school. When blood is drawn from one’s body, their hemoglobin levels decrease and become abnormally low, therefore a subsequent intake of iron helps the body create new blood cells to replace the ones that were lost.

The members of ASB strived to create a stress and pain-free experience for each participant and ensured that everyone walked out knowing that they would take part in the blood drive again.

“In order to provide a comfortable environment, we’ll always try to make sure everyone is relaxed and always have a smile on our face. If someone looks nervous we will go over and talk to them,” said Isabella Mattioli, a junior.

After months of hard work and the conclusion of the first blood drive, ASB will soon begin to prepare for the second blood drive in April.

“The general flow of the blood drive has been a lot better than usual, which has really played a factor in reducing our stress level today and I think that this time we had a few less donors than the last blood drive, which has made the experience more enjoyable for our participants,” Vltavsky said.