Don’t “B negative,” donate blood

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Senior Airman Shane S. Karp

MARIA KOTOB, Staff Writer, Editor

This time of year is for giving and receiving. When planning for your Christmas shopping expeditions, take the time to give one more gift: the gift of blood. In just a few days, GHS will host its annual student and teacher fall blood drive. Rated eighth last year for the most blood donated between all north shore schools, its success derives from those who sign up to donate.

“Many times people come out from emergency situations, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, or the Sandy Hook incident. It is really good if people show up when non tragedies are also occurring because people forget of how much they’re needed,” said World Language teacher and Student Council/NHS Adviser Reyenne Menery. “The number one reason why people don’t give blood is because no one asks. I went around asking people to give blood and kids were willingly volunteering, which was very nice.”

There are two available types of donations. Whole blood donation is when a pint of ‘whole blood’ is given with no modification. This is the most common donation, and the quickest to do. The other is the power red donation. Power Red is done with the help of an apheresis machine which collects the red cells from the two pints of blood given, but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor.

Power Red donators are currently vital because there are very few volunteers. If you are able to give power red blood, take the time to sign up, If you would prefer to give whole blood, sign up for that instead because any donations are appreciated. If you are unable to donate this Friday, there will be another opportunity in the Spring.

In order to give blood, there are restrictions for who can and cannot donate. If you are 16, you will need a parent to sign the permission slip, but 17 and older are not required to. If you are donating whole blood you must weigh at least 110 pounds. To donate Power Red, females must be at least 130 pounds, and males at least 150 pounds.

Student athletes must check with their coach before signing up to give blood. If you have had a tattoo in the last year or if you have had unprofessional (at home) piercings done you cannot give blood.

If you donate on Friday make sure to follow the following rules before your time slot:

  • Get a good night sleep
  • Maintain your iron levels by eating iron rich foods the night before and day of.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat breakfast the day of the drive.
  • Make sure to bring an ID with you and your permission slip (if required)

“People just really need to realize the importance of giving blood since every 2 seconds someone needs some, and you can save up to three lives with one donation. So if we have forty people donate, we’re saving 120 lives,” said Menery.

Did you know that every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion? Or that 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day? Of the 38% of the U.S. population who is eligible to donate, only 10% actually do. If you are able to give blood, it is important to sign up because it can save someone’s parent, sibling, spouse, or best friend.