California Baptist University hosted the spring semester LifeStream blood drive from Feb. 1–3 in the Van Dyne Gym. During the drive, participants could donate blood and receive a COVID-19 antibody test.
Like last semester’s blood drive, this one followed guidelines in place due to the ongoing pandemic. Each participant received a temperature check, face coverings were required at all times and each station was distanced from others and sanitized after each donor.
During the fall blood drive, LifeStream received 224 donations. Each of these provides LifeStream with plasma, red cells and platelets, so the donations from that blood drive were sent to local hospitals to help 672 patients.
“My favorite part of being part of the drives is meeting new people,” said Isaac, LifeStream donor specialist. “Everybody has their different stories. I feel like the importance of the blood drive is the thought behind it.”
Adam Botello, LifeStream Blood Bank senior regional account manager, said he hopes this drive produces many donations because of the blood shortage resulting from sickness, low turnouts and fewer blood drives.
“It is so difficult to keep our hospitals stocked,” Botello said. “Typically, pre-pandemic, we would like to have probably seven to 10 days’ worth of blood on the shelves. What that does is make sure that all of our hospitals are stocked and we have an ample backlog of blood. This morning, we were at 0.4 days, so we have less than half of a day of blood on the shelves.”
Although Botello does not expect as many donations as in pre-pandemic semesters, he said he hopes the drive can provide support for many patients at local hospitals.
“Things are slower than what we are used to, but we are doing much better here than any of the other drives we are doing,” Botello said. “The students want to help out and support the community.”
Regardless of the number of donations received, Charlene Hunt, LifeStream collections supervisor, said she is glad to see people participating to help others in the community.
“There is a lot of bad news in the world, but I am blessed because every single day, I get to come to work and see the good in people,” Hunt said. “They will never know who they are helping, but they are actually saving people’s lives.”