Tips for donating at the Vein Drain Blood Drive


Blake Loria

Senior Josh Moreno donated at the Back-to-School Blood Drive in August, his fourth time donating blood. “I always knew it was a good cause; it was a good thing to do,” Moreno said. “Donating blood can help save someone’s life, and being a student, we are young and healthy, so our blood is in better condition to donate. I’m usually nervous every time, but in the end, it’s not that bad, and I tell myself it helps people tremendously.”

Editor’s Note: Because of the school cancellation on Wednesday, Oct. 28, the blood drive has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Students and faculty can donate blood by appointment at the Vein Drain Blood Drive Wednesday, Oct. 28 in the upper commons from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

The goal for the blood drive is 56 donations. Each donor will receive a Vein Drain t-shirt and a ticket to the 6th St. Massacre Haunted House in Amarillo while supplies last. Students under 17 must provide a signed parent permission form and all student donors must provide a permission form for their blood to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Prospective donors can email Lance Culbert at [email protected] or visit room 1306 to schedule an appointment.

According to the Coffee Memorial Blood Center–the organization that holds the Vein Drain Blood Drive–30,000 units of blood must be drawn each year to meet the needs of the High Plains area. To ensure a successful donation, the American Red Cross gives advice in three steps: before the donation, on the day of the donation and after the donation. The organization also offers resources for people to find local blood drives and learn about donating.

1. Before the donation

One blood donation is typically one pint, with the human body containing 8-12 pints of blood. The organization recommends donors eat nutritious, iron-rich food, including red meat, fish and poultry and other foods to make sure hemoglobin levels are high in the blood stream. Iron, a part of hemoglobin, is a mineral essential to maintaining strength and energy in the body. Donors can also eat a low-fat meal or snack prior to donating, Along with eating iron-rich foods, the organization recommends donors drink an extra 16 oz. of water beforehand as well as get a good night’s rest.

2. On the day of the donation

According to the Coffee Memorial Blood Center, all tools used during the donation process are sterilized and used only once, so catching any illnesses is highly unlikely. Donors are required to fill out any paperwork on the day of their donation to determine donation eligibility. For the Vein Drain Blood Drive, students may access the donor survey on a desktop in the learning commons. The questionnaire includes questions regarding the history and current health of the donor. The entire process lasts around an hour, with the blood donation lasting between 5-10 minutes. If students take the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire beforehand, the process will be much quicker. The American Red Cross suggests donors relax during the donation.

3. After the donation

Three tips the organization provides donors after they donate is to enjoy a snack, tell others about the good deed and drink extra liquids. Donors can take a few minutes after donating to drink a beverage or eat a snack in the upper commons. The organization also recommends avoiding heavy lifting or rigorous exercise and to sit down if dizziness or lightheadedness. Blood donors can donate whole red blood cells again after eight weeks.