The American Red Cross will be hosting a blood drive on Palomar’s main campus in San Marcos May 7-11 sponsored by Palomar’s Fire Club and Health Services.
Palomar hosts a Red Cross Blood drive five times a year, this time the organization hopes to get 40 donations per day from volunteers.
A single donation, a pint of blood, can save up to three lives, according to Linka Schanka of Palomar’s Health Services.
If the goal of 40 donations a day is met, Palomar will help to save 120 lives a day during the drive; that’s a total of 600 lives that could potentially be saved during the five-day event.
“I had no idea one donation could go so far,” student Alex Crisler said. “I think it’s great that Palomar is doing something to save lives; I definitely want to be a part of that.”
Crisler, like many other Palomar students, has never donated blood before and never understood how far a single donation can go.
Though Palomar will help save hundreds of lives in just a few days, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood; a total of 38,000 donations are needed everyday, according to redcrossblood.org, the official website of the American Red Cross.
“The amount of donations needed is staggering. People would be lining up across campus to donate if they knew that much blood was needed all the time,” Crisler said.
Before jumping in line to donate, there are some questions you will need to ask yourself, because not everyone is eligible to donate blood.
“There’s a whole list of things we need to screen for before anyone donates,” Schanka said. “There’s actually a lot of reasons someone can’t donate; there are obvious ones like if someone has certain diseases, but also if someone has donated within a certain amount of time they can’t give any blood.”
People can head to Health Services and pick up a flyer with the list of reasons someone can’t donate blood, or head over to redcrossblood.org and read the list they provide.
“I went to go and donate last summer, but found out I couldn’t because I had gotten a tattoo a few months before,” student Jennifer Stoehr said. “I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to give blood because I got a tattoo. I can’t donate at this blood drive for the same reason.”
Whether you know you can donate or not, each person who wants to donate has to be given a mini physical to ensure they are safe to give blood. After the blood is drawn it is then tested for the presence of infectious diseases before being sent to a hospital, according to redcrossblood.org.
The American Red Cross will be on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Monday through Friday, with extended hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday May 8. The blood drive will be located between the GJ and NS buildings.
To sign up stop by Health Services or go online to redcrossblood.org and enter code PalomarSM.