National Honors Society’s “We’re out for blood” exceeds expectations

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Scribe Staff

Staff and donors enjoy a snack after giving blood at the SHS blood drive.

Abigail Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

According to the Red Cross, the US requires nearly 36,000 units of blood every day, but only 38% of the population is eligible to donate. Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year. Aware of such demand, the Schaumburg High School National Honor Society hosted the first of its two annual blood drives on October 15. 

Held in the back gym from 7:30 to 2:30, NHS students collected 65 units of blood from a total of 72 donors. Although the number of donations decreased this year, the Red Cross states that one donation can potentially save up to three lives. 

“Blood donations are critical to saving lives, and it’s important to help others in their times of extreme need,” National Honor Society sponsor Mrs. Lopez said. 

“Donating blood made me feel like I was contributing to a larger cause,” said senior Nicole Setiawan. “It felt good knowing that my blood would end up helping someone who truly needs it.” 

In order to donate, students must meet several requirements; they: must weigh over 110 lbs, cannot be pregnant, cannot be sick on the day of donation, cannot have received any tattoos within last 18 months, and cannot  have recently traveled to a malaria zone (i.e. Africa, central and South America). 

Even so, students cannot donate unless they are at least 16 years old.  Prospective donors of 16 or 17 years of age are required to bring a signed parental consent form, and all participants must have two forms of official ID.  While there are various requirements, the process is rather easy for students.

“It would be great if we could get more people to donate blood because it is a simple way to help those in need,” added senior Kate McKinley.

Before students were cleared to donate, they go through a brief physical with the nurses and give a full medical history. Nurses take several readings including: temperature, blood pressure, heartrate, and hemoglobin levels (to measure the iron in red blood cells). This ensures that all are donors are properly prepared to give blood, and that the blood is safe for potential recipients.

According to Mrs. Lopez, Schaumburg High School normally sees higher donor rates, but “with COVID mitigations and fewer Vitalant [the company that draws blood] staff, this was above the goal for the drive.”  As more and more things continue to “return to normal,” it is likely that the rate of blood donation rises.  That would allow us to help  people in need.

Donors are allowed to rest and get a snack before they are released to return to their school day.  After donating, donors even receive a coupon for a free large 1-topping pizza from Papa John’s. NHS always hosts two separate blood drives, so it is likely that we will have another chance to donate during the upcoming spring.  Thanks to the drives, SHS can do its part to help our medical professionals and other healthcare frontline workers.  

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