DHS hosts annual Community Blood Center blood drive

Kelsea Burns, Staff Reporter

The De Soto High School Student Council partnered with the Community Blood Center and hosted a blood drive where students could donate a pint of blood to people in need of blood transfusions on April 5.

Any student who met the CBC’s requirements could donate blood. The requirements included a minimum age of 16 and a minimum weight of 115 pounds.

Many students participated in the blood drive. Stuco member sophomore Emma Jackson donated for her first time this year.

“It’s really great because it helps people who need blood,” Jackson said. “It’s really good to give back and you can live without some of your blood. It’s a good way to get involved, and you feel good after you do it.”

According the CBC’s website, approximately 580 blood donors are required every weekday to meet the needs of patients in the community. In 2005, over 78,000 volunteer donors donated over 134,000 units of blood to people in need. Many people need blood, reasons ranging from cancer and heart and blood vessel disease to disease of the gastrointestinal tract and emergencies such as car accidents and burns.

Many donors, including first time donator senior Lauren Mabe, described their experience positively and painless.

“I thought it would hurt more, but it didn’t. It was actually less painful than getting a flu shot,” Mabe said.

Mabe said that the only downside to her experience was that the CBC couldn’t use her blood after she donated.

“My arm clotted up so they had to throw it away,” Mabe said. “If you don’t give enough, they can’t use it because they have to put a chemical in it to make it transferable. So, if there’s not enough then there’s too much chemical and that’s bad.”

Over 65 students participated in the blood drive and 46 units of blood were donated. The process for donating blood lasted about an hour, but the actual blood draw lasts approximately 25 minutes. During this time, students relaxed on cots while squeezing a small ball.

For students interested in becoming regular donors, the CBC offers the Gallon Grad Award Program. After donating at least eight times with the CBC prior to graduating, any high school student is eligible to receive the Gallon Grad award, earning him or her a Gallon Grad Certificate of Achievement and a One Gallon Pin. Eight donations is equivalent to one gallon of donated blood. This can be achieved by making donations at high school blood drives, a local CBC Neighborhood Donation Center or any other community blood drives sponsored by the CBC.