Blood Drive

Caiden Cook, Contributor

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Blood Drives are absolutely necessary events that save lives. For those of you who don’t know, more than 14 percent of hospitalized patients are in desperate need of blood donations. Hospitalized patients who require blood donations and don’t receive them have a significantly higher chance of dying. These blood donations come directly from volunteers that are willing to save lives and those who receive blood donations are so grateful. “The need for blood donations is constant and the gratification instant” -Red Cross.

Our school just had a blood drive on August 29! It was a very successful drive and many of our students participated. Inside the United Blood Services’ “Bloodmobile,” Jace Baker asked Hayden Fleming after his donation, “How do you feel?” He responded, “I feel like I just saved a life!” The cool part about this statement is that it’s true! One transfusion from a donor can save someone’s life.

There are two types of donations we are allowed to give, a standard donation of one pint of blood, and there’s a “Power Red” donation, in which more red blood cells are taken and some of the leftover blood is given back to you, but the point is that you are giving more red blood cells.

Bentson Richardson was asked how his appointment went, and how the procedure for donating went, and this was his response:

“I walked in and waited my turn for the appointment. They called me in and checked my iron levels and blood pressure, and then I was ready to go! They directed me to a very comfy reclined seat and cleaned my forearm with rubbing alcohol. And then they poked the needle into my arm and drew the blood while I squeezed a little piece of PVC pipe to keep the blood flowing. It only felt like a little pinch. It was nice though. They give you chips and pretzels and whatever you want! For the standard donation it only took about 10 minutes and then it was done. I’m glad I was able to do it!”

For those wondering if it is right for them to give blood, there are some limitations. For example, some people have iron-deficient blood, some people have been to Africa or Great Britain during the time of an epidemic, or some people just don’t have blood cells that generate itself fast enough. Having blood that isn’t safe to donate either for you or the recipient is the only valid limiting factor that should determine whether or not you should give blood. After all, giving blood truly does save lives. The United Blood Services slogan, “Find the hero in you,” is very accurate in describing what it means to be a blood donor. 4.5 million people would die every year without lifesaving blood transfusions. It’s up to us to volunteer to participate in this lifesaving work.

However, lots of people have their own excuses of why they shouldn’t give blood. One of the most common excuses of people not volunteering to give blood is, “I can’t do needles” or “Sorry, I can’t handle blood.” Can we all agree that this is kind of a lame excuse? This excuse can be easily solved by either not looking at the needle, or accepting the fact that it really doesn’t hurt any more than a pinch. Having conducted a blood drive myself, I know how hard it is to have volunteers willing to donate. It’s a lot of work and takes some convincing, so having people who are ready and willing to help means a lot. Especially for those people who need blood.

The next time our school blood drive comes around, please consider donating! You only have to wait 56 days (or 112 days for “Power Red” donation) to donate blood again. Blood transfusions save lives, because of your kindness and donation.

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Blood Drive