BY MADI BLACKBURN
The annual spring blood drive, sponsored by HOSA, took place on Thursday, March 5 from 8 AM to 3 PM. Students were advised to eat a good meal and drink plenty of water. Sixteen-year olds had to weigh at least 125 pounds and need parental permission, whereas 17-year olds and up had to weigh at least 115 pounds. On the day of the donation, students were advised to eat a good meal and stay hydrated. Personal questions, such as drug and medication history along with travel outside of the U.S., were asked. The Food & Drug Administration required that these questions be asked and answered honestly.
Testing is done on each donation to check for various infections, including HIV and hepatitis. Results are confidential to everyone but the parents of 16-year old donors.
Students and teachers were able donate whole blood or just red blood cells by a method called apheresis. Possible side-effects of apheresis may include lightheadedness, tingling in the hands and feet and mouth, muscle discomfort or twitching, chills, skin redness and itching, dizziness, feeling of warmth, and excessive drowsiness. Very rare side effects can include an air embolism, blood clotting, or hemolysis.
The blood donation process included a screening of medical and social history and tests for blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and hemoglobin. The arms are cleansed, and a one-time use sterile needle is inserted. Approximately one pint of blood was collected. Students received refreshments, rest, and post-donation care instructions to help ensure their well-being. The Medic supervisor stated that the “blood was for a good cause.”