On Thursday, November 5, Shaler Area High School hosted the first blood drive of the school year.
The blood drive took place in Gymnasium A with 115 donors participating in the drive. For every pint of blood that was donated, about three people can possibly benefit from it. So, this drive alone potentially provided aid for up to 345 people who are in need of blood.
Throughout the year, the high school holds multiple blood drives. To do so, the physical education department introduces students to the drive during their classes or if the students do not have health or physical education, other opportunities to sign up are made available to them.
After signups, students are then scheduled and given a specific appointment time. Students report to Gym A for about an hour to donate. They are provided with drinks and snacks to help them from feeling dizzy or lightheaded during and after the donation.
Students tend to feel dizzy or lightheaded as a result of not having enough nutrition before donating blood. This is why it is so important for students to eat a good meal and drink lots of water beforehand.
“They need to eat a good lunch or a good breakfast, not just a package of pop tarts. They need to start hydrating 24 hours before their donation time with water, Gatorade… Stay away from the caffeine drinks. But they really need to eat something substantial,” said Ms. Marci Jackley, a health and physical education teacher.
Jackley continued by saying how those that do not feel well are those who do not eat well. So as a precaution to prevent fatigue or laziness from happening, make sure to eat a nutritious meal prior to your donation time and drink lots of water. Luckily, however, no one passed out in the blood drive this year.
For anyone concerned about whether or not to donate blood, Jackley says to try it; it is an easy, virtually painless process that also serves as a selfless act.
“You get the stick of a needle, but compared to what the people receiving your blood have to go through, a little stick shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference. The people that are receiving your blood are either sick or in a surgery. They’re going through a lot more than just a prick of the needle,” Jackley said.
Senior Alex Stauff, who donated this year, voices similar feelings.
“I donated blood because it’s no loss to me, but it could mean a lot to someone else,” Stauff said.
The next blood drive will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.