A long line of students waited outside of the Auxiliary Gym today, Nov. 8, each one anxiously awaiting for their turn to donate blood. After a long wait in line, each student was checked by a nurse and tested before actually giving blood. Today’s blood drive was organized by the Red Cross, where hospital patients will be able to receive the much-needed blood.
“We were here today [to get] blood from students,” Susan Sendelweck, RN Manager of Blood Donation, said. “We always come to Rock Bridge High School, so we are trying to collect hundred units, so we did about 60 units today so we are so glad because 60 units still helps a lot of patients.”
Before students donate their blood, the nurses check the students’ health and ask if they have recently contracted a disease, whether they have been out of the country and several other general questions. Even though each had a different reason to donate, the precautionary measures were the same for everyone. Nurses attended to each individual students, and took care when dictating whether a person was able to give blood or not. Usually, if the person does have a health concerns, they worry about the health of the donor if they were to give blood. In this sense, it is important for students to volunteer without putting themselves at risk.
“If the person does have a health concerns, we all worry about the health of the donor giving,” Sendelweck said. “So you have to be pretty well to give [blood] and nothing wrong with you, and no infectious diseases. Students are pretty good.”
Not only do the nurses check if students has any disease, but they also check their blood pressure before putting a needle into their arm. Senior Carly Rohrer said donating blood is a relatively easy way to give back to one’s community because it is quick and safe.
“They take your blood pressure and stuff and get your arm ready to donate. [They] flick your finger at first to detach your iron [levels] to see if you have deficiency or not,” Rohrer said.“That is not a big deal. And the needle is quite big, but I didn’t actually look at it. So I didn’t watch that happen. It didn’t hurt you bad and it only took you about 5 to 10 minutes for your blood to draw.”
Rohrer said the donation usually doesn’t cause many significant side effects, and she didn’t experience any problems herself.
“It didn’t hurt; it’s just an uncomfortable feeling because it’s just like kinda squeezing deeper into your blood flowing,” Rohrer said. “I didn’t get dizzy or nauseous or anything. A few other people I watched around me did, but for the most part everyone did fine and you can just walk off right after that.”
Students left the gym satisfied, hoping that their blood would help children, cancer patients, and trauma patients. Senior Josh Baumer believes giving blood is worth it, because of how beneficial it is for other people who really need the blood.
“It’s a really good cause and you can get your blood back quick,” said senior Josh Baumer. “Something that I could save people lives.”
By Jay Whang