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Students donate blood during tough times

Students donate blood during tough times

Tiffany Kiggins, an American Red Cross checks the plasma from a donor.Photo credit: Justine Young.

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The American Red Cross hosted a blood drive in Falcon Square, drawing potential donors to line up and wait patiently by the parked truck.

The blood drive, which lasted Tuesday to Friday, is the second drive held this semester with the first being held in September.

“We have a long-standing history with Cerritos College,” Tracey Rivera, registered nurse and supervisor of the blood drive, said.

“We’ve been coming here for years for two or three days at a time, and we always get a great turnout.”

Over 170 students showed up and 132 units of blood were collected in two days during September’s blood drive, according to Rivera.

Sixty units of blood were collected on Wednesday, and Rivera said the same was expected to be collected on Thursday.

Students showed up with different reasons for donating blood.

The recent typhoon in the Philippines, which has killed over 3,900 people, according to the BBC, was one source of motivation for some students, prompting them to donate their blood.

“There was talk about the typhoon and making donations, so I decided to head over today,” computer commission student Adrian Verdi said.

With her blood type being universal, journalism major and first time donor Zeinab Chahine felt compelled to donate.

“I’ve always wanted to (donate blood),” Chahine said. “It made me nervous at first, but it’s a way to help people.”

Being a believer in the the concept of paying it forward, psychology major Elizabeth Ibanez felt the need to come out and donate.

“If something (bad) happens to me in the future, I’m hoping somebody else would be able to help me too,” Ibanez said, who has been donating blood since her freshman year of high school.

The American Red Cross is always in need of blood donations.

According to the Red Cross’ website, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, and every two seconds, a person in the United states is in need of blood.

Additionally, around 15.7 million blood donations are collected each year and there are 9.2 million blood donors each year.

Despite these numbers, only 10 percent of eligible donors actually donate each year.

The Red Cross holds over 200,000 blood drives each year and 80 percent of all the blood collected comes from mobile blood drives such as the ones held at Cerritos College.

In total, the Red Cross is the source of 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply which goes to around 2,700 hospitals across the United States.

Rivera said she feels hopeful about this blood drive’s turnout.

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