Many people are having a hard time trying to decide what they are going to give someone for Valentine’s Day.Cerritos College has made it an easy choice; give the gift of life, donate blood. The American Red Cross has been bringing its Blood Mobile to the campus for more than 13 years according to Jason Salcido, mobile director for the Blood Mobile.It is projected that 80 people will drop by the blood-donating center on its first day of donations. Because of this number, the bus that is known for blood donations will not be used.Donating areas will be set up in the Student Center so more donors can be served at a faster rate.Silvia Roel, on the job instructor, stated, “We are constantly in need of blood.” Donors are always needed and ‘newbie’s’ are asked to start donating.”Once people donate the first time, they normally come back. It is almost always a good experience,” Salcido added.The one thing that all the blood mobile personnel want people to remember before donating is to keep hydrated. Keeping hydrated reduces the risk of nausea and light-headedness. The American Red Cross recommends the following tips for a successful donation:
Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. Get a good night’s sleep. Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation. Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods. If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation. Remember to bring your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of ID.
The entire donation process takes about 15 minutes. So saying you don’t have time to stop by isn’t a good excuse. A student can stop by before class or even after to give this bloody Valentine gift. There are a few things that could prevent a person from donating blood. Among them are: iron levels, certain medications, and recent travel. The only way to know if you are unable to donate? Go to the blood center and ask!The American Red Cross Blood Mobile will be at Cerritos for a total of three days: February 9, 10, and 11. It will be open for donations from 8 A.M. until 8 P.M. If you didn’t sign up, don’t worry! Walk-ins are always welcome. As a thank you for giving the gift of life, you will be given the gift of food. A coupon for a free appetizer at Mimi’s Café is given following the donation.