Downey High Blood Drive

Being a blood donor for two years, Kaithlyn Pineda, 11, gives helpful tips to those donating blood. “Don’t be scared of the needle, make sure you eat before you donate. You might pass out if you don’t,” Pineda said. “Also if your iron level is too low in one finger, ask to check the other finger to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to help others.”

Hector Diaz, Photographer

Last week on Friday, April 13, Downey High students participated in the annual blood drive that took place at the gym on campus. Students volunteered to donate pints of blood for those in need of a donor. The donations lasted all day with participating students being excused from class in order to go the gym and partake in the donation. While volunteers are welcomed, certain height and weight requirements were required in order to be allowed to donate blood. In addition to the requirements, students were advised to follow certain tips to ensure a safe and successful donation process.


Downey High senior and annual blood donor Daniel Ramirez, 12, found the donation process to be relatively simple and satisfying to do something good.


“Well it wasn’t anything crazy: go to this place, sign this and that, wait in line, donate your blood, just eat and drink lots of water afterwards and then leave. The nurses were pretty chill and not uptight so that made the process more relaxing,” Ramirez said. “I liked the idea of giving out for someone that can later on help them. I’ve been doing it since sophomore year so I kept rolling with it.”


While the blood drive takes place yearly at Downey High, certain requirements need to be met if students wish to participate. Students of 16 or 17  years of age must be of at least 130 pounds or more and have parental consent, verified with a signed form given out by ASB. These requirements are implemented in order to maintain the health and well being of participating students, and to prevent any unnecessary complications during the donation process.


Current senior student and blood donor Ahmed Elshehawy, 12, believes that it is important to follow the advice given and to have a calm mind when donating.


“They say the same advice every year but it does help; drink a lot of water and eat a good, healthy meal before and afterwards,” Elshehawy said. “When you are actually getting the blood taken out don’t be nervous about it, and use your dominant arm, it helps a bit.”


One of the most repetitive, yet helpful pieces of advice that is given is for students to drink plenty of water and to eat a good and healthy meal. This is too help build up iron supply in the blood stream and to reduce the effects of blood loss. Eating a good meal also helps provide your body with energy and fuel which helps combat the light headedness that commonly results after donating blood, which can also result in students passing out.


Blood donor and junior student Marlene Garcia, 11, learned how helpful the advice really is, after she passed out during her donation.


“I did try to follow the advice I had heard. I ate breakfast and drank water before and after, I also ate a lot of oranges,” Garcia said. “I don’t really know why I passed out. I was a bit nervous; it might have been that. All I know is that if you don’t feel good right away tell someone.”


The blood drive is a good opportunity for students to help out those in need and give back to the community. For those who do decide to participate, it is advised to prepare ahead of time with a big meal and lots of water to energize your body to ensure a smooth and problemless blood donation.