Blood Drive at BASH Ends Early

Many students participated in the school blood drive on November 21, until it was unexpectedly cut short a few hours early.

An announcement came over the loudspeaker at 12:35 p.m. saying, “The blood drive has been cancelled for the rest of the day.” School nurses said it had to end early due to insufficient paperwork that was not discovered until late in the day. Nevertheless, 67 life-saving units of blood were still collected, in total. The next blood drive is on May 8, 2014, and the goal is to raise even more.

Students at least 17 who meet the minimum weight requirement were eligible to sign up and donate. Several donating chairs were set up in the gymnasium along with a donating bus in the parking lot outside.

Health Club volunteers were at the Blood Drive throughout the day, providing cold beverages, cold compresses, cookies, salty snacks, and moral support to the donators. Colleen Canfield, President of Health Club, explained, “This is my 5th blood drive. I like it for the hands on experience which will prepare me for the healthcare world. I plan on pursuing a career in either nursing or veterinarian care.”

While many people are able to donate without any problems, there are some cases where donors feel light-headed or sick. Matt Heller, one of the many first-timers, had an adverse reaction to giving blood. “I felt like I was going to pass out,” he said. “[the volunteers] all rushed over and started force-feeding me and taking my blood pressure.” Jenn Ziegler, another first-time donor, also had an adverse reaction where she nearly fainted. “I’m proud of myself, but it just sucks the way it ended,” she sighed.

On Blood Drive Day, students receive a pass to go down to the gym at the time they signed up for. Once there, they verify their personal information, get their finger pricked for testing, and then settle into the reclining chairs. A Health Club volunteer then comes over, asks what type of cold soda and salty snack is prefered and then place a cold pack behind the donor’s neck. This is standard to prevent the sensation of dizziness.

The phlebotomist, a trained professional at taking blood, then finds a good vein in the crease of your elbow for donating. One of the phlebotomists said, “It can take anywhere from about 3 to 14 minutes, but really it depends on the person. I had someone last night who only took 3 minutes; that’s the first time I ever saw it happen so fast.” Once the donation is over, everyone is required to sit at the canteen for 20 minutes and eat some snacks. There are all types of cookies and chips, sodas, and even coffee. Many donors take a sticker, or several.