Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jenny Montes - A Bloody Success!

A blood drive for the American Red Cross was held at Chabot College on Thursday, Jan. 29. According to Ed Faso, account manager for Donor Recruitment in the American Red Cross, 47 units of blood were collected. Each unit of blood donated has the potential to save three lives. Because of the generosity of the people of Chabot College, 141 lives have been potentially saved. The biggest turnout was from the E.M.T. classes and the Associated Students, who were also actively involved in signing-up donors.

According to the Web site for the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, but only five percent of the population of eligible donors actually donates blood. This makes donating blood crucial.

Many people may be put off by the fear of donating, but it is simple, quick and nearly painless (many donors agree: if you don't look at the needle when they insert it into the vein, it barley hurts at all). Before donating, the donor is given information to read regarding the process as well as reasons for possible deferment. To be eligible to donate, one must be at least 17-years-old (or 16 with a guardian present) and weigh at least 110 lbs. A confidential health history is then taken to be sure that the donor is healthy. Once the donor is deemed eligible, their arm is swabbed with iodine and the needle is inserted. It usually takes 10 minutes or less for the blood to be removed. Afterward, the donors are treated to beverages and cookies to replenish themselves.

The blood drive was considered a success by Faso, especially based on previous blood drives in May 2007 and January 2008. During those drives only 29 and 42 units were collected, respectively.
The next blood drive will be held at Chabot on Thursday, April 16. Hopefully, even more units can be collected this time.

For more information about the donation process, contact Ed Faso at 510-773-1868.

If you missed the donation on Thursday, or were deferred, go to and enter your ZIP code for a donation center near you.

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