Blood drives: They're not for the faint of heart

Blood drives can be a great way to give back to the community, especially for high school students. Dozens of students signed up to donate and each one of them saved up to three lives.

For some students, giving blood can be a big deal, and when they finally get the courage to actually give blood, they could get turned down or even pass out while trying to do something good.

Everyone should donate blood because one in four people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their life. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Only 37 percent of people are able to donate blood, so if a person is able to, they should do it.

Several students, like junior Shianne Barret, got turned down because of their weight or body temperature. “I wasn’t necessarily scared to give blood but the thought of a needle in my arm did make me a little nervous. But, I wanted to do it regardless,” Barret said.

Barret was turned down because she didn’t weigh enough and she wasn’t expecting that at all. “I walked in expecting to give back, and I was disappointed when I wasn’t able to,” Barret said. In order to donate blood one must weigh over 110 pounds so they have enough blood volume to withstand donating an entire pint of blood.

If a student donates blood three times before they graduate, he or she are eligible to receive a red cord to wear on graduation day. This cord recognizes students who work to give back to their community.

For junior Zach Mallet, this is one of the reasons he wanted to donate blood, but he was turned down due to having a temperature over 99 degrees. “I wanted to give blood because not only is it a great way to give back but this would have also been my third time donating, and I would be getting the red cord,” Mallet said.

Other students wanted to donate but ultimately had to stop in the middle of giving blood from passing out. Senior Megan Masciola was one of the students who passed out.

“You know what it feels like when you stand up too fast and your vision gets blurry? I felt like that for a few seconds. Then I woke up hot, laying down, and confused. People were yelling my name and I didn’t know where I was. It was really scary.” Masciola said.

When people pass out from donating blood, it could be from a number of reasons according to Registered Nurse with American Health Networks Pediatrics, Malinda Woodard.

“It’s fairly normal for people to pass out, especially if it’s their first time donating because their body doesn’t know what’s going on. They could also pass out from the sudden drop in blood pressure or blood sugar levels or just being anxious about donating in general,” Woodard said.

To help prevent this, anyone who donates blood should make sure they’re staying hydrated for multiple days before they give blood and should be sure to not only eat before donating but also eat lots of proteins and sugars, according to Woodard. The next blood drive will be in January.

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