American Red Cross on campus takes blood donations


Supervisor/ Charge nurse Veronica Sereno with patient Zhanat Alipova. After each donor gave blood, the student received free complimentary snacks to insure that the donors do not become lightheaded from the donation. Photo credit: Scarled Murillo

Scarled Murillo

The American Red Cross partnered with Cerritos College, was taking donations in Falcon Square from Sept. 11-14 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

All blood donations were taken on the American Red Cross bus with certified nurses.

The total length of the procedure lasts about 45 minutes to an hour according to Charge Nurse Veronica Sereno.

Sereno explained the steps it takes to see if you are eligible to donate:

  • First the donor signs up to enter the mobile by appointment or by walk-in.
  • Then a health screening test is required to evaluate that the donor is in a good condition to donate.
  • Once everything checks out the nurse will begin the procedure of extracting blood.

Sereno said, “They perform two different procedures; you can donate one pint of whole blood or do a 2RBC which means donating the red blood cells into two smaller bags that in total equal one pint.”

Sereno has been working for the American Red Cross for 15 years.

Throughout the three days that the American Red Cross was at Cerritos College, they received approximately 85 donations according to volunteer Mitzy Ramirez who is a nursing Major at Cerritos College.

Ramirez mentioned that she learned about the volunteer program through Project Hope at Cerritos College.

Another non-profit organization that was working beside the American Red Cross was A3M requirement for Be the Match organization.

A3M stands for Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches.

According to Requirement Coordinator for A3M Tai Nguyen, this program has the same mission as the American Red Cross.

“Red Cross is to educate the community and to help others in need,” said Nguyen.

This program also receives blood donations but is more unique by using a donors cheek swabs to find a match in their database.

If a donor becomes a match with a patient in need, the organization contacts the donor for their blood and even bone marrow.

Once in the registry, the donor will remain there till their 61st birthday.

Nguyen explained that it is a Asian-founded program but anyone is welcome to join and volunteer to recruit.

Their mission is to help blood cancer patients in need by providing a match.

While at Cerritos College, A3M received about 10-15 registrations for their organization a day.

This organization is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Most of the students that were donating blood were first time donors.

Briana Gonzalez explained that it was her first time donating and she really thought the service was very welcoming and helpful.

Gonzalez said the Red-Cross provided each donor with a free coupon to Wienerschnitzel that provided a free chili dog.

The American Red Cross also gave each donor a free ticket to attend the Long Beach Laugh Factory.

After each donor gave blood, the student received free complimentary snacks to insure that the donors do not become lightheaded from the donation.

Andrew Reyna, mentioned the nurses also informed donors to refrain from doing exercise throughout the day or any heavy lifting for at least five hours.