On April 5, Ottawa Hills High School hosted their annual blood drive. With over 15 donors from the high school and many other community donors, the blood drive was a success!
Every year, Ottawa Hills hosts two blood drives; one in the fall and one in the spring. Art teacher, Ms. Hannah Lehmann, is the leading adviser behind this drive. Hannah Lehmann explains, “The primary purpose of our school blood drive is to promote blood donation from our students. Typically, donors continue to give after their first donation and the blood drive provides opportunities for the Red Cross to reach our students at a relatively young age. More years donating simply equate to more blood donations and that is the ultimate goal of any blood drive.”
High School volunteers helped sign in people who donated blood while others gave them snacks, drinks, or made them a grilled cheese after donating. Many of the donors were high school students excited to give their blood. Senior Kaleigh Carson who has donated blood before says, “I decided to donate blood because I want to help others in any way that I can.”
Upon arrival, donors sign in, read an informative packet on what to expect, and talk with the phlebotomist over their health history and complete a mini physical. After that, the phlebotomist proceeds to take about a pint of blood, collected in a pint bag.
According to American Red Cross, after donating, your blood is kept in testing tubes on ice and then sent to a Red Cross center to be processed. There, your information is scanned into a database and spun in centrifuges to separate components such as red cells, platelets, and plasma. After that, the donation is then sent to a testing laboratory where multiple tests are performed to determine the blood type and to test for any infectious diseases. Following the test results, the donations are stored in their proper environment until they are needed elsewhere. Blood transfusions are given to patients in a variety of circumstances, including serious injuries, cancer, childbirth, and many others.
Donating just a pint of blood can help make the difference for someone in a serious life or death situation. Get in touch with Hannah Lehmann if you want to donate blood at next year’s blood drive!