Maddie Payne ’14 – News
On November 21st, 2013, Romeo High School hosted their annual blood drive, ran by the American Red Cross. The Red Cross started a new program this year where juniors who donate 3 pints and seniors who donate 2 will receive a red cord to wear for graduation. Although the Red Cross ran the Blood Drive, NHS students like Jake Peyerk (12) played a large role in the blood drive with all their volunteer work.
“I walked people from the beds to the snack table, because they could have been in danger of passing out,” Peyerk said.
The blood that Romeo High School students donated will go directly to the Red Cross, where according to their website, every pint will save 3 lives. Romeo’s annual blood drive is one of 200,000 blood drives the Red Cross runs each and every year all over the country.
Before any of the Romeo students donated blood they were required to read a booklet informing them of the process of, and take a small quiz to determine whether or not the student is eligible to donate blood. Some students were unfortunately denied the opportunity to donate for various reasons.
“I tried to donate blood but couldn’t because I recently got a tattoo and you have to have the tattoo for at least a year before you can donate blood,” Rayna Shoman (12) said.
Once the student is cleared for donation they have their blood pressure taken, along with their pulse. They then have their hemoglobin levels tested by a prick of the finger. If a test test reveals that a student’s hemoglobin level is below normal, or they have an abnormal blood pressure or pulse, they are not allowed to donate. However if a student passes all of these small tests, they are cleared and ready to donate.
“I was nervous at first because I don’t like needles, but as long as I didn’t look it was fine. It felt really good afterwards, knowing I made a difference,” Thomas Anderson (12) said.
The next step in the donation process is the donation itself. The staff first cleansed a small part of the students arm and inserted a new sterile needle for the blood draw. The actual blood donation takes 8-10 minutes. Once the full pint of blood is collected, the donation is complete and the staff then bandaged the arm and the student is sent on their way.
“I really enjoy helping out. It’s nice knowing I saved lives,” Jessica Schram (12) said.
After the donation the students were given snacks and drinks by NHS volunteers to replenish any fluids lost during donation. Students were also told to avoid any strenuous physical for up to 24 hours after donation. When they were sent back to class, students were reminded to enjoy their day, as they have made a positive impact in their community.
“After donating blood I felt really good about giving back and helping out. I had a really bad headache but in the end it was all worth it,” Sam Mohawk (12) said.
Every 2 seconds in the United States, someone is in need of a blood transfusion. While the sharp needles and woozy feelings can be daunting, by donating just one pint of blood, up to 3 lives can be saved.
Graphic: Maddie Geffert ’14 – Graphics Editor