The annual Harker Blood Drive at the Saratoga campus on Feb. 25 drew a record number of donations, bringing in 82 people and collecting 58 units of blood. The accomplishment is credited with potentially saving up to 174 lives. “This was particularly exciting since this year, new rules and regulations have been imposed that restrict a larger number of people from donating,” said Ananya Anand, Gr. 12, the blood drive coordinator for the Harker Red Cross Club.
Students, faculty and staff showed up to give blood at the drive, which was organized by the Red Cross Club in conjunction with Blood Centers of the Pacific, a nonprofit organization that supplies blood to Northern California hospitals, doctors and patients.
Craigh Hough, a representative from Blood Centers of the Pacific present at the blood drive, said the blood would be used for transfusions, dialyses and other tasks that require donated blood to be on-hand. Specific parts of the blood will also be used, “like when Eskimos take down a polar bear,” Hough said, “they use the whole thing.” Only red blood cells are extracted during donations, as white blood cells are uniquely adapted to each person’s immune system.
Hough estimated that the Harker drive averages about 50 units each year, roughly twice the average amount of other community blood drives. “The blood drive has truly been a way to bring the Harker community together for a wonder ful cause,” Anand said. “Bay Area hospitals are currently facing major shortages in blood, so Harker’s contributions really make a difference. Within 72 hours, all the blood donated goes to a local hospital and every donated unit can save up to three lives.”