Written by Erika Renkl |
The Morgan National Honor Society and the American Red Cross host a blood drive every spring and fall. This spring the drive was held on Thursday, May 1 in the new gym. Anyone over the age of 17 can donate, as long as they meet the height and weight requirements and have moderate iron levels.
Giving blood is one of the best things people can do for the community because it doesn’t take any of their effort and people are in constant need of blood.Anyone who has the blood type O Negative is highly encouraged to donate because that is the universal donor and is given to all unidentified cases in an emergency situation.
After the Red Cross takes a person’s blood, it has to process it to separate the specific components like red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The Red Cross then must test it for any infection or overall problem before it can store it and send it out to hospitals.
- Red Cells are stored in refrigerators at 6ºC for up to 42 days
- Platelets are stored at room temperature in agitators for up to five days
- Plasma and cryo are frozen and stored in freezers for up to one year
Read more about the process of giving blood through the Red Cross!
We talked to a few people who have given blood in the past. Senior Sarah Dahlberg said, “It was a great experience, and it was very easy. I was never scared of needles or blood so it went really well. I’m looking forward to giving blood again this year, and it’s a great opportunity to help others and save three lives.” Senior Jonathan Markovics is planning to give blood at the upcoming drive. “This is my first time giving blood, but I’ve helped out at the past two blood drives. I’m excited to help save lives, but at the same time, I’m nervous as to how my body will react to giving blood.”
Many people each year are unable to give blood due to a lack of iron or a failure to meet the height and weight requirement. I lack iron, and I am frequently deferred from the Red Cross because iron levels of 12.5 are required, and I only had a 12.0. Many others do not weigh enough to give blood even though they would like to help people.
Overall, the blood drive went exceptionally well this spring. We had over 65 people sign up and collected 58 pints of blood for a total of 174 lives saved!