By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

The Red Cross held a blood drive at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center on Tuesday, Jan. 7. People stopped by to donate blood, which will go to help victims of accidents or other traumas.

Donors answered a questionnaire when they first showed up to see if they qualified. Once they qualified, they were then taken into a booth to answer further questions, including about their physical history. Music was played during the blood drive to prevent people from eavesdropping on the consultations for medical privacy reasons.

Donors had to have a certain range of iron in their blood.

 “We recommend having a protein meal before the donation,” charge nurse Patricia Malvica said. “Hydration is also important.”

There was a steady influx of donors around noon that day, though the Community Center still had a relaxed and quiet atmosphere. Potential donors were quickly attended to when they first walked in.

After giving blood, donors enjoyed refreshments and snacks at a table before heading out. Tips for donors after they give include staying in the recovery area for approximately 15 minutes to eat and drink and removing a wrap bandage within the next hour if they had one put on their arm.

The City of San Juan Capistrano promoted the blood drive and hosted the event in partnership with the Red Cross. Donors could sign up for an appointment beforehand on the Red Cross website using sponsor code CityofSJC.

The Red Cross is safety-conscious and looks after donors, Malvica said.

“When I talk with donors, they have a very selfless attitude,” Malvica said. “They’re giving, because they care.” There have been previous blood donation opportunities in the area, including in March 2019, when Rancho Mission Viejo teenager Austin Le Monte held a blood drive to celebrate his birthday. Plenty of people came out to help, with Le Monte saying then the need for blood will always be important.

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