The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

Help end the emergency blood shortage
Decreasing rates of blood donations impact hospitals and patients across the nation. Alongside high schools, recreational centers, businesses, and libraries. More blood drive locations can be found on the American Red Cross site, Graphic made by Julia Wong.

On Jan. 7, the American Red Cross announced an emergency blood shortage, marking its lowest amount of blood donations in the past 20 years. According to the American Red Cross, hospitals urgently need blood after donors significantly decreased after the pandemic reduced blood drive availability and raised conditions to donate. Without a steady blood supply, patients are at a higher risk of deteriorating health conditions.

According to the American Red Cross, donors help a variety of patients with “accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer.” Blood drives acquire about one pint of blood from each donor which can save about three lives.

Once a semester, the school hosts a blood drive partnered with the American Red Cross. Anyone 16 and older who meets the height and weight requirements can donate. Hosted in the gym, high schoolers, staff, and anyone in the community can save lives. Each drive rewards their donors with snacks, food, a free t-shirt, and a gift card. 

Weight and height requirements for minors donating start at 110 pounds, accepting from 16 years old and higher. 16 and 17 years old must sign a parental consent form before donating. Graphic from the American Red Cross.

The process of having blood drawn is about 15 minutes on the table and afterward 15 minutes of waiting at the table to ensure no side effects occur. The school’s Red Cross Club and Red Cross Volunteers are capable of answering any concerns and questions before and after the drive.

Kathryn Cayem, advisor of the Red Cross Club for 10 years, shares her initial feelings when she first donated.

“I was nervous about it but it really doesn’t hurt that bad and once you do it, it’s something you know that is making a difference,” said Cayem.

Daniel Yu, a senior who participated in last year’s blood drive, shares his technique for nervous potential donors.

“Be as confident as you can be… just have trust in the people, they’re good people, they got you, you’re in good hands,” said Yu.

No matter the age, grade level, or occupation anyone can help with the blood shortage. This March there will be another blood drive hosted in the gym from 8:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Stay updated for the school’s official blood drive date on Instagram @wchsredcross. Other blood drives can be found on the official American Red Cross site,

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