By Jose Casares
Out of 251 participating schools in the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge, East Los Angeles College was number seven.
ELAC has already hosted two successful blood drives this year. A third one will be held in the auditorium on April 15 and 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The most recent drive was mostly for the school staff. However some students were allowed to participate.
The third blood drive will be a part of the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge.
Elans donated 400 pints of blood for the 2013 challenge and ASU president Eduardo Vargas hopes that number will double this year.
Vargas received an award in behalf of the school for its participation from a representative of the American Red Cross.
Vargas, who is in charge of organizing the blood drive, said he was aiming for first place this year and mentioned figures as high as 1,000 pints. One pint of blood can save as many as three people.
“Donating blood is important,” Vargas said. He explains how donating blood saves lives and that someone with type O blood can help a lot of people. To receive blood, a person must be compatible with the donor’s blood type.
People with type O blood are considered a universal donor, meaning he or she can give blood to any blood type.
However, a person with type O blood can only receive blood from someone with their own blood type.
Those with type A blood can donate to those with the same blood type or a person with type AB blood.
Those with type B blood can donate to someone with the same blood type and to a person with type AB blood.
Those with type AB blood can receive blood from anyone, but they can only donate to a person with the same blood type.
Whether or not someone’s blood is compatible with a receiver can also depended on other factors.
Factors like whether or not an antigen aside from the A and B antigens is present in the blood.
This third antigen is called the Rh factor.
Rh factor determines whether the blood is negative or positive.
A person’s ethnicity can be another factor.
The success of the blood drive will depend entirely on the number of students that participate.
Vargas said he encourages professors to mention the blood drive during class.
There are only a couple of weeks left to get the word out. Spring break is coming up and the blood drive will be held after classes start again.
A staff of approximately 20 trained people will help donors through the process.
Donors will spend 15 minutes giving blood and the entire process should take approximately 45 minutes.
Snacks and orange juice will be provided for donors.
They will be allowed some time to rest after they give blood.
On April 15, In-N-Out will be giving out meals to ASU members, while supplies last.
Donors must be healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds. People with tattoos are allowed to donate if the tattoo was applied in a state regulated facility or they must wait at least 12 months otherwise.
There are other reasons why some people may not be allowed to donate.
Those reasons include medical conditions that may affect the receiver.