Student council blood drive saves lives

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Junior, Reese Thewlies, got her blood drawn at the annual blood drive in the west gym. The process took about one hour to complete. Photo Contributed by: Tracy Hale

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Meaning more than 38,000 blood donations are needed per day.  At the moment, less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood, with only three percent actually donating.  It is a small group, but clinics are always looking for more members.

Every year, the high school holds a blood drive to help those in need receive life saving donations. This year, the event was held on Feb. 10 in the west gym. The drive was held by student council and had record attendance this year with over 70 donors signing up to donate a pint of blood each.

“I did the blood drive because I was really interested in helping people and being able to save a life for just a small amount of discomfort,“blood donor, Zach Hannah (11), said. “It’s really not as painful as many people say it is; it’s a simple process and it only takes about an hour.”

Unfortunately, many people every year pass up the blood drive on the basis that the blood taken will never be replaced along with other reasons related to pain and misinformation. According to the Red Cross, 17 percent of people say that they do not donate because they just never thought about it. But if only one percent more of all eligible donors in the United States starting donating, it would eliminate almost all blood shortages that currently exist.

“Typically, the body replaces the components that are donated,” according to the Community Blood Center for Dayton, Ohio. “Plasma is replaced within several hours, platelets within 24 hours, and red cells can take up to 56 days.”

Donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives for just one hour or less of your time. If someone were to donate blood from age 17 to 79 whenever they were eligible, they could donate a lifetime total of 46.5 gallons of blood. That is a potential of 372 lives that the person saved just by donating. So, if a student is an eligible donor,  he or she can consider stopping by the high school blood drive next year to help save a life.

By: Jonathan Steeves

steeves.jonathan@oakwoodschools.org

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