On Feb. 6, Kaiser’s National Honors Society partnered with the Blood Bank of Hawaii once again to organize the annual blood drive held at the library. The drive lasted the entirety of the school day, surpassing the success of previous years. In fact, Kaiser has surpassed its blood quota of 67 pints with an overwhelming 70 pints with the capacity to save 210 lives.
Unlike in past years, each member of Kaiser’s NHS were encouraged to recruit three students to donate blood, which largely contributed to the success of this year’s blood drive. While at first the quota was set at 60 pints, it was raised to 67 in response to an abundance of students, faculty, and staff willing to donate. “I want to save lives anyways as I’ve always wanted to become a doctor someday, so why not start now?” said senior Aina Hori who convinced her peer, Kevin Chong, to donate as well.
Although the blood drive exceeded its quota, NHS advisor Rinda Fernandez admitted that a lot of work was involved in coordinating a school-wide event, which is the primary reason why only one blood drive is hosted per year. She praised the time and effort put in by NHS members who oversaw the donations. “If I were to be honest [the officers] are the ones who really know how to organize things and get it done. I was merely the backup singer.”
With success also came complications. This year, there were about 21 deferrals and 10 reactions caused by the donors’ blood donation. Some donors suffered minor health complications such as fatigue, nausea, and dizziness due to not eating an adequate breakfast. “We’ve had more reactions than we ever had this year, as we usually have about three,” Fernandez said. Donating blood requires that the donor be in good health, at least 16 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Drawing blood may cause serious complications for those who are not at a healthy weight for their height. Even if the donor does meet these requirements, Fernandez still recommends they eat a healthy breakfast in the morning to avoid any further possibility of side effects.
The 70 pints that Kaiser donated will go to local hospitals where, in most serious emergencies, doctors are required to perform blood transfusions. “[The blood bank] can’t duplicate blood, cancer patients need it, newborns need it. In fact, 60% of people living in Hawaii need blood at least sometime in their life,” Fernandez said. Just a pint of blood can save up to three people’s lives and the process is relatively painless.
With the efforts of NHS and the generosity of Kaiser’s students and staff, many lives will be saved. As the only school event that directly impacts lives, Principal Justin Mew weighs in on the implications it creates for Kaiser. “In a larger sense, students and faculty are willing to give of themselves. Some of them are afraid, whether it be by the blood or the needle, but even more so, they wanted to see how they can help others and make a difference. Now that is the mission of Kaiser,” he said.