Blood Drive: Pint Four Lives

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Blood Drive: Pint Four Lives

The Blood Drive occurs multiple times a year and is a tradition at Wilcox High School.

The Blood Drive occurs multiple times a year and is a tradition at Wilcox High School.

Hana McNierney

The Blood Drive occurs multiple times a year and is a tradition at Wilcox High School.

Hana McNierney

Hana McNierney

The Blood Drive occurs multiple times a year and is a tradition at Wilcox High School.

Hana McNierney

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The weight of life for many is precious and immeasurable, yet sometimes the cost of four lives is a simple pint of blood. Located right here on the Wilcox campus, the blood drive remains a tradition to our high school community.

Although the outside the small gym may seem paltry, on November 20 the doors opened to reveal a makeshift donation center inside, sufficient with stations of clinical recliners and trays full of equipment. Organized by the ASB, the donation process is straightforward and well coordinated. Prior to the event, the ASB collected sign-up sheets from students aging 16+ who met the height and weight requirements for blood donation. As long as a permission slip was applicable for those under the age of eighteen, walk-ins on the day of the event were also allowed. Once inside the gym, students signed in, filled out a questionnaire regarding their health and medical history, had their height and weight measured, and finally became eligible for donating blood by having a couple drops of blood drawn in order to test their blood type and amount of red blood cells. Following the signing in process, students were led to the clinical recliners. After a preparation process, including spreading iodine around the skin, with a prick of a needle the donation process began. Senior Savya Challa recalls the experience, explaining, “The staff are quite professional and very kind, making sure that you have anything that you need at all stages of the donation process.”After every last drop of blood was collected, students enjoyed comforts and care from the ASB officers. They spent roughly fifteen minutes replenishing their blood sugar by eating snacks and drinking juice, all while being monitored by an officer. By ensuring their well-being, students were released to go back to their regular classes. Challa felt reassured throughout the process, stating how “They keep you well informed on what is happening and overall just contribute to a very safe environment.”

Under the bright lights of the small gym, the blood filling up a pint sized bag may seem meager in amount. Yet to some patients it may be the difference between life and death. However, before acting as the driving force behind a surgery, the blood travels through several steps. In fact, there is a chance the blood may never be used in a transfusion. Yet if that were to be the case, the concern does not lie with not being able to save a life; rather, a trip to the hospital for yourself is advisable. Once the blood reaches the hospital, it is tested for any infections transmissible by blood, and is recorded to be ABO or any other necessary information regarding the blood cells. However, worry not, if the disease test results come out positive, a call informing you about the results would be on its way. After the donation process, donors may experience a range of side effects including light-headedness, bruising, and occasionally, fainting, vein inflammation, nerve injury, or skin infection. But what is saving a life without some pain? Challa encourages others to donate later in the year: “It is actually a really good cause, you have the chance to impact lives of four people, including your own. All for an hour of your time and a pint of your blood.”

For the young adults of Wilcox high school, the blood drive provides an enlightening experience where students are allowed a chance to offer their help in their own way. ASB president, Caroline Kloes expresses, “The Blood Drive is important because it gives everyday citizens the ability to change someone’s life for the better. You don’t have to be a doctor to improve an individual’s medical condition–your blood will save lives.” Students who are too busy to visit hospitals to donate their blood are granted this opportunity at their schools, which is a factor behind the success of the drive.

The Wilcox spirit remains strong-willed and compassionate with so many students willing to go out of their way to offer their blood in hopes that their blood will save the lives of a suffering patients. Just as Kloes explains, “The Blood Drive is an important tradition here at Wilcox because it promotes helping strangers when they need us the most.”