Junior Giana Gatti and sophomore Angelina Cervantes were two of the many donors at the blood drive on Oct. 29 that broke the record for the most donations. (Photo by Hannah Brody)
Junior Giana Gatti and sophomore Angelina Cervantes were two of the many donors at the blood drive on Oct. 29 that broke the record for the most donations.

Photo by Hannah Brody

Dukes save 270 lives at blood drive despite lack of staff

January 21, 2020

York hosted their second blood drive of the year on Jan. 16. Despite under-staffing, the drive was successful, and it saved 270 lives upon completion. Senior Grace Maietta, chair of the Student Council blood drive committee worked directly with Zeke Trevino, Senior Donor Recruitment Representative for Vitalant, a company that administers blood drives across Chicagoland.

“We’re aiming to collect 90 blood donations for our local area hospitals today,” Trevino said. “For us, it really goes a long way to help sustain what we need locally.”

The blood drive met this goal and collected 90 units of blood donations. According to Vitalant, each unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. 

While the drive was successful, some students thought that it could have been run more efficiently by Vitalant. The previous blood drives at York have seen similar problems of long wait times. 

“I think the blood drive ran as efficiently [as the previous blood drives],” senior Mary Kritikos said. “I think in the future [Vitalant] will need to provide some more staff because it is really busy and a lot of people come out to donate.” 

Maietta took note of this frustration among students, but other factors limited the number of staff available. 

“Due to the fact that the blood drive was hosted on a day that other high schools were having [blood drives], Vitalant could not send as many staff,” Maietta said. “This led to a longer wait as the screening process takes much longer for new donors.”

In order to curb this problem, Maietta hopes work directly with Vitalant to increase the number of nurses present. 

“For the future, we are going to work with Vitalant to maximize the number of nurses they send,” Maietta said. “This will help speed up the day and hopefully prevent students from missing so much school.” 

 By dealing with inconveniences, students are alleviating the lack of blood donations in the Chicagoland area.

“About 30% of the blood supply collected comes from local area high schools, colleges and universities,” Trevino said. “In combination with the severe storm over the weekend, we run into a lot of blood shortages.”

While the wait-time for students was especially long, Vitalant is grateful to the York community  for being supportive and helping them achieve their goal of 90 blood donations. 

“Especially with the blood shortage we’re having, it’s well welcomed to have students waiting and being so patient,” Trevino said. 

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