A Guide to This Year’s Blood Drive

With less blood donations due to the pandemic, learn how to contribute to your community for this year’s blood drive.

by Julia Blanchette, Editor

Why has Covid-19 affected donated blood supply and demand? 

Why has Covid-19 affected donated blood supply and demand? 

Covid-19 has drastically reduced the volume of blood donations received by blood banks due to social distancing protocols. According to the American Red Cross association, approximately 38,000 blood donations are needed in the United States each day. 

“Donating blood is a great opportunity for community service in a time where there aren’t many options to make a contribution to help with the repercussions of COVID 19,” Jack Zilligen ‘21 said. 

How can I help? 

Rock canyon Football and Cheerleading sponsor a blood drive through Vitalant blood donation center in Highlands Ranch, CO. Sept. 21-27. On the day of the advertised blood drive, multiple RC Cheer and Football athletes will be donating blood at Vitalant from 12-6 PM. Sept. 26. 

“Our program is hoping to collect 21 pints of blood on the day of the blood drive. There are 21 spots available this upcoming Saturday where each person will donate one pint of blood,” Zilligen ‘21 said. 

This blood drive is a total of seven days long, blood donations will be accepted all week by appointment only, and you must call ahead of time to schedule. When at the donation center, donors must provide the Vitalant staff with Rock Canyon’s association code.

Association Code: DEN6401

Valiant Address: 541 W Highlands Ranch Pkwy, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Phone number: 877-258-4825

Link to sign up for Sept. 26. ONLY: Sign Up Genius – Sept. 26 

 

Qualifications of a donor:

  • Must be 110lbs. 
  • Must be over 15 years of age. 
  • May not be on antibiotics for current infection.
  • May not have taken Accutane, Proscar, or Propecia in the last month. 
  • May not have taken Warfarin or Coumadin in the past seven days.  
  • If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must have a waiver filled out and signed by a parent or legal guardian. Parent Consent Form 
  • If you have traveled recently, look over the list of destinations that will disqualify you as a donor. Blood Donor Qualifications 
  • Males between 16 and 22 years of age must be at least five feet tall and 110 pounds. 
  • Females between 16 and 22, if you are less than 5’6” tall, read the minimum weight and height requirements attached to the blood donor qualifications link. 

Before Donating: 

  • Eat a large meal approximately two hours before your appointment.
  • Hydrate well up to three days before your appointment. 
  • Bring a photo ID.
  • Bring your parental consent form if you are under the age of 18.
Why should I donate? 

Did you know that one donation could save up to three lives? Donated blood is used and transfused into patients around America every two seconds. 

“This will be my first time donating blood because, in the past, I did not understand why donations were necessary. Now that I see how essential donated blood is to the medical world, I want to be a part of the cause and make a difference,” Sean Hicks ‘21 said. 

Fast facts:

  • There are many illnesses and life-threatening situations that are at the mercy of volunteer blood donations. Patients who suffer from various cancers, blood disorders, and anemia receive approximately 67% of all donated blood.
  • Patients who endure life-threatening trauma injuries and patients who must undergo cardiovascular and emergency surgeries receive about 27% of all blood donations.
  • 13% of patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 are also in need of a blood transfusion for various reasons. 
  • Many people may want to donate blood, but less than 38% of our population is eligible. Roughly 10% of that 38% donate annually. 

“I have never donated blood, not because I don’t want to, I am just afraid of needles,” Ethan Fong ‘21 said.  

Sources:

https://www.umms.org/-/media/files/ummc/community/blood-facts

https://www.blood.co.uk/why-give-blood/how-blood-is-used/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7361376/