By Dulce Flores
Riverside will host a blood drive on Tuesday, April 19.
A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions and/or made into pharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation.
Donation may be of whole blood, or of specific components directly. A blood donation takes up to 8-10 minutes, according to the American Red Cross. Every pint of whole blood donated is separated into three components – plasma, red cells and platelets.
Riverside high school had blood drives in the pastThe January drive, organized by Riverside’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), collected 49 units of blood from 52 donors.
Junior Mary Walters was a first time donor at January’s blood drive.
“We signed in and waited until we were let into the van,” Walters said. “Once we got into the donation van we went through another check-in process to make sure we weren’t anemic or carrying any transmittable diseases. After that we waited to get onto one of the donation beds and then someone came over to get us started.”
Walters said that giving blood was actually pretty easy.
“You just have to flex your arm every now and then and you are welcome to be on your phone, “ she said. “I’m not exactly sure where the blood goes, but I think it goes to hospitals or ambulances for emergencies where people have lost a lot of blood”
Though she was little scared of the needle, Walters said it was worth it.
‘’A blood drive is a great way to help your community, especially during the current blood shortage,” she said. “It provides people in serious accidents with a higher chance of surviving. ‘I plan to attend as many as I can. The last one I participated in was in January.’’
Students interested in participating can learn more by contacting Riverside’s PTA or visiting thebloodconnection.org.
‘’I think if you are able to donate blood you should,” Walters said.. “It’s a good experience and it makes you feel good about helping your community. Plus you get free snacks afterwards!!’’