Voting for others: Campus blood drive aids pandemic shortage


Angelina Liu

Coppell High School hosts its annual blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the small gym on Tuesday. Students and faculty were able to donate blood through the HOSA program.

Victoria Hertel, Student Life Editor

Health Occupations Students of America and American Red Cross volunteers take donor’s temperatures as they prepare to get their blood drawn – a process that could take up to 45 minutes – during both an Election Day and global pandemic.

Approximately 125 people got their blood drawn in the Coppell High School gym today. Precautions for COVID-19, such as social distancing, mask wearing, close contact questionnaire, antibody test for every donor, took place to keep donors and volunteers safe.

“I decided to participate because I like the experience in a healthcare environment,” CHS senior and HOSA volunteer Waliyah Khan said. “It is important to donate blood during COVID-19.”

Blood banks across the nation are running low on blood due to COVID-19. 

“The blood banks are really low: normally they want a 6-7 day reserve, but they’re down to two days,” HOSA adviser and blood drive organizer Gary Beyer said. “If we had a major disaster it would take all the blood donations.”

The antibody test can determine if an individual’s blood can be used to help people infected with COVID-19.

“People with COVID-19 antibodies can donate their plasma and it can be used in developing a treatment, helping the people with COVID-19 fight off the disease,” CHS junior HOSA president Rohan Palavali said. “Because the cases of COVID-19 are so high, they need more of this plasma to fight it.”

The blood drive took place on Election Day.

“Election Day is when people vote for change,” Palavali said. “It almost galvaniese them to want to change their surroundings and make the world better. They coincide in that aspect.”

Previously, Carter Blood Care has partnered with CHS for blood drives. This is the first time American Red Cross has partnered with CHS; they are offering $3,000 in scholarships for HOSA students if 300 blood donations are received.

“Big thank you for Coppell to host [the drive] during the pandemic,” said Dominic Visingardi of the American Red Cross. “We have a lot of regulations on our part, but thank you to Coppell for doing their part, we have a lot of [bed] spacing as well. I am appreciative of anyone donating blood right now; we need to be keeping the blood banks filled.”

HOSA is hosting blood drives in January and April.

“Donating blood is a small thing to do to help someone you don’t know,” Beyer said. “I’ve personally had blood transfusions, and if there isn’t any [blood], you don’t get any. Until I’m told we can’t do itwe’ll keep doing them.”

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