Red Cross Blood Drive at BHS

Saving lives one step at a time

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Alex McRill

Seniors Liam Fay, TJ Richards and one of the Red Cross nurses support Paul Skoczylas as he donates blood at the Drive. Throughout the day, students came by the Aux Gym for their chance to help others by donating their blood.

Ivy Muench, Co-Editor in Chief

BHS housed a Red Cross Blood Drive for students and staff alike on Nov. 13. For many, missing an hour or so of school is worth donating a pint of blood, which equates to saving up to three people’s lives. 

Most of the day, the Aux Gym was full of people who were willing to donate blood and wanted to do their part to give to those who needed it. Senior Rachel Simmerman commented, “I’m proud of people stepping up.” In the past, the blood drive has had to clean up early because of a lack of blood donors. 

The goal at this blood drive was to collect 89 pints of blood. Each donor gives one pint of blood. About twenty percent of people trying to give blood are denied the opportunity because of iron deficiency, their travel history, their weight, current sickness, and other medical limitations. Donors must be 16 years or older to give blood without parental consent. 

The process in order to donate blood is fairly simple. 

Alex McRill
Students wait to be called to the health screening booth. After being registered, students had to have health screening in order to see if they were a good individual to donate blood. This checked for previous travel history, iron deficiency, and more. After this stage, students were moved to the beds to have their blood drawn.

First, an individual must register and sign-in. Registering involves filling out some paperwork. Students were able to register in the cafeteria during the week of Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 11.

Second, the individual is brought to have their health history recorded and health screening done at a booth. Health screening includes taking one’s blood pressure, body temperature and prinking one’s finger to check for iron deficiency. 

Third, individuals are placed on beds where their blood is drawn. Leadership students stand beside donors and talk in order to pass the time. The actual drawing of one pint of blood takes between five and a half minutes to ten minutes, but on average seven minutes. 

Alex McRill
Two leadership students stand with a student as she gives blood while lying on one of the beds. This is the third step in the blood donation process. Leadership students dedicated their time Wednesday in order to be a support system for students.

Fourth, the individual is brought to the “quarantine” area where they rest for fifteen minutes at least. They are encouraged to snack and hydrate with food and drink provided by the Red Cross and the Brighton High School. Coloring books are available, a movie plays, and this is another chance to talk with Leadership students. After this, donors are released to go about their day. 

Individuals are able to shorten the amount of time taken to donate their blood by filling out the RapidPass. RapidPass is an online pre-donation and health history questionnaire to be done on the day of one’s appointment. Filling out the online form saves up to fifteen minutes during the blood donation session. 

Donors are also able to track their blood donations, access their donor card, schedule appointments and more using the Red Cross App. 

This blood drive would not have happened if it was not for the help of the 16 Red Cross workers present, the Leadership students, Exec Board Advisors and other helpers. Although this was the only blood drive that the Brighton High School will conduct this school year, students can feel good knowing that their time spent out of class will help save lives. 

Account Manager of Red Cross for the Great Lakes Region Alisa Risner stated, “Our number one priority is that everyone has a great experience.”