On Tuesday, December 10, University High School (UHS) will host its first American Red Cross Blood Drive of the school year. The UHS Associated Student Body (ASB) website has provided signup forms and a list of health requirements for all students interested in donating blood (located here: http://www.uhsasb.com/students/serviceprojects). All students must complete and submit the signup forms by Friday, December 6 through the ASB website to participate in the blood drive.
All donors have the option to donate blood either through the common whole blood donation system or the automated blood donation system, specifically the Alyx Component Collection system. By donating a pint of blood through the whole blood donation system, donors have the opportunity to save up to three lives. If donors chose to donate blood through the Alyx system, they can donate double the amount of red blood cells, saving even more lives than through the whole blood system. According to nonprofit organization Blood Center, the Alyx process withdraws certain blood components at a higher volume and allows for the Red Cross to provide a higher supply of blood types needed most frequently by patients.
On the day of the blood drive, participants will report to the gym during an individually designated class period. The process may take up to an hour since participants have to wait their turn to donate. Ms. Teresa Ozoa (English Dept.) said, “Participants should eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water during the day to prevent fainting.” When asked about her previous experiences as a blood donor, Sandy Shane (Jr.) said, “I freaked out before because I am scared of needles, but giving blood was definitely worth it.”
To be eligible to donate blood, participants must be at least 16 years old, meet height and weight requirements, not have any tattoos or self-piercings within the past twelve months and not have traveled to any country with a malaria outbreak, such as Iran or India, in the past twelve months. Participants who are 16 years old must also have a parental consent form.
According to the Red Cross, male donors five feet and over must weigh at least 110 pounds while female donors who are five feet six inches and over must weigh at least 110 pounds. More detailed height and weight requirements and a link to a list of counties currently suffering a malaria outbreak can be found on the UHS ASB website (http://www.uhsasb.com/students/serviceprojects) or on the American Red Cross website.
By CHRISTINE SMET