Donate blood, save a life

May 23, 2016

      Although one pint of blood can save up to three different lives, only four percent of eligible blood donors donate blood. Donated blood can be used in life threatening situations, such as in saving the life of someone involved in a serious accident or someone with a terminal illness.

      One third of people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime, and the demand for blood is constant due to its non-substitutable qualities. In the 45 minutes that it takes to donate blood, the effects of that blood can last a lifetime.

FBLA and Student Council offer four different opportunities a year to donate blood. Once every quarter, blood drives offer an abundant amount of positives for not only the recipient of the blood but the donor as well.

      Contrary to some, there is no chance of donors contracting an infectious blood disease while donating. Doctors and staff members use clean sterile needles and take serious precaution with each and every donor. Although there are exceptions, few donors experience dizziness, faint feelings, or sickness after donating.

      For every negative myth about the experience of donating blood, there are multiple real positives to donating blood. Donating blood removes excess iron, and excessive amounts of iron can harm the body with high blood pressure, cirrhosis, heart disease, and diabetes. When donating blood, bodies also make new red blood cells that are more efficient at carrying oxygen throughout the body. Regular blood donation is also associated with lowered risks of lung, colon, liver, throat, and stomach cancer.

      Health benefits are not the sole benefits of donating blood. When donating at one of the quarterly blood drives, donors receive unlimited access to tables of cookies, chips, pizza, soda, juices, water, and other snacks. Donors also are excused from class, a perk for many students. Finally, donors receive the rewarding feeling that comes with the possibility of saving three lives and making the community a safer place for everyone.

      Nine seniors, Annah Buckwalter, Amber Jerson, Ja’Miracle Morant, Elliott Evans, Makayla Kuhrt, Hunter Shepherd, Colton Fersch, Jordan Miller, and Trevor Trejo, received the honor of the Gallon Grad Award from the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, having donated at least eight pints of blood in their high school careers.

      The most recent blood drive, hosted by student council May 3, produced 81 pints of blood. Although the most recent blood drive was the last blood drive of the year, 29 donors donated blood for their first time.

       Blood drives are a wonderful way to make a difference in the community and in the lives of those in need of blood. Blood drives do not supply the needy with just blood but with life.

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