How do you save up to three lives in just fifteen minutes while getting to eat tasty snacks and missing class at the same time? Give blood, of course!
The American Red Cross set up shop in the Pride’s gym Tuesday, October 21. The usual scene of bouncing basketballs and spiking volleyballs was now replaced by donor cots, equipment and snack bars. The blood drive was an all day event that kept students coming in and out of the gym; 94 students came in to donate, resulting in 83 pints of blood collected.
The blood drive was run by Mr. Broer, Señor Ross and Mrs. Eastman. The student leaders who also ran the drive were Maddy Kunkel, Alec Way and Rachel Langley.
“At first I started volunteering for service hours, but once I started working with the program, I saw how great the cause really was and how greatly it can impact people’s lives.” said Maddy Kunkel.
All of the students who signed up arrived to the gym at their given times and visited the registration table. After they were signed in, the students went through a mini physical and traced their health history to see if they were eligible to give blood. If they were cleared, they were sat in a cot and and process began.
Normally, the donation takes 10-15 minutes for someone to give the normal one pint of blood. If you are a double-red (giving two-pints of blood), it will take 30-45 minutes.
The double-red process is different than the normal blood donation. If you are a double-red, your blood passes through an apheresis machine that collects the red blood cells but gives most of the plasma and platelets back to the donor. In order to be a double-red, you must meet higher height, weight and hemoglobin requirements.
After the blood is drawn, you get to dine on a fine selection of cookies and soda until you are feeling back to your normal self. Common symptoms after giving blood are slight dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and possible fainting. All the students were carefully watched for any of these signs before being released to return to class.
This year, there were 50 students who arrived as first time donors. Kierra Angell, a junior, said, “I would definitely do it again because there might be someone out there who needs my blood more than me, and even though I’ll never know who I helped, or what I helped with, it feels good knowing that I did what I could to possibly help someone in need.”
Many students are hesitant to donate blood because they are afraid of the pain that goes into giving blood.
“The finger prick is the worst part. If you think about it, the pain lasts seconds but giving blood can benefit someone for a whole lifetime.” Said Sara McCauley, junior.
Make sure not to miss out on the chance to save lives at the next blood drive that will be held at Leesville in the Spring!