Miramonte Community Participates in Annual Blood Drive


Maya Sherne, Breaking News Editor

On Thursday, students and faculty participated in Miramonte’s annual blood drive.  Students 16 and older signed up to give blood to Blood Centers of the Pacific throughout the day in the small gym.

Blood Centers of the Pacific is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides blood to 50 hospitals throughout Northern California.

“Every year there is a blood drive,” senior class Vice President Alyssa Barker said.  “We are just continuing the tradition. “

“The students who are part of the leadership class are my coordinators here at Miramonte,” Blood Centers of the Pacific Account Representative Wendy Tyson said.  “They have done an amazing job.”

“We did a lot of Facebook and Twitter posting, and we just posted around the school,” Barker said. “We went to talk to a lot of seniors and juniors because those are usually the students that are allowed to donate.”

“I think we had 84 signups,” Tyson said. “We hope to collect 55 pints of blood today.”

According to Blood Centers of the Pacific, one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

“I want to help other people, whether it’s someone in the hospital or someone that is having a surgery,” Principle Adam Clark said.  “If I can help in some way I wanna do that.”

“It was a really great turnout,” Barker said.  “We didn’t get as many signups as we wanted, because our goal was one-hundred and we got around eighty, but a lot of people have walked in saying they wanted to donate.”

“I’m giving blood today so I can save a life,” senior Adam Brager said. “I’ll be back to donate blood in the future.”

“It was a little scary because I saw a guy next to me have a seizure, but then afterwards I was fine,” senior Sylvette Teman said.  “It didn’t negatively affect me.”

To avoid unwanted reactions, Blood Centers of the Pacific has put in place specific requirements and a general screening to ensure the safety of those donating.

“If someone hasn’t eaten, if they don’t weigh enough, if they are maybe too small, or if they haven’t been hydrating well, we won’t let them donate,” Tyson said.  “It’s all for safety.”

Each person donating is required to fill out a two page questionnaire with details of their health history to make sure it is safe for both the volunteer donating the blood and the person receiving the blood.

“It’s not uncommon at a high school to have what we call a reaction, that’s why our staff is here, and that’s why we are so cautious and very conservative with the screening process,” Tyson said.  “We would rather see everybody feeling completely healthy and good afterwards, but we are here to take care of them.”

However, the general requirements prevented some students from donating.

“A lot of students, either because they are not old enough to donate, don’t want to, or because they are not eligible for various reasons, will coordinate the blood drive,” Tyson said.  “They can go out in the community and do volunteer work, and sometimes we need students to volunteer at our big blood drive events.”

“I’m very pleased to see all the kids who are donating and all the kids who are working here,” Clark said.  “It’s a great program and I hope more things like this happen at school.”