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The Gift of Giving Blood

Riley Sims, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Every two seconds in the U.S., somebody needs blood. With that means many people show up, ready to give blood to help the cause. However, many of them are not aware of what goes on behind the scenes, and the proper way that their blood should be handled.

“There are so many checkpoints in doing blood transfusions,” said medical technologist and health, science and technology teacher Nancy Stewart. “First of all, you draw the blood. You send it to Carter here in Dallas, it’s Carter Blood Care. They type your blood. They do all kinds of medical tests on your blood. They would incinerate your blood and take it away and throw it away if there was something wrong with it.”

Blood transfusions are performed when there is a loss of blood, inability to make a substantial amount of blood, or to reduce the likelihood of complication from a blood disease that is present. Performing tests on blood donations is extremely important for many reasons. It is important to detect any diseases that may be present in the blood. Diseases found in blood, like AIDS, may take years to finally show symptoms. Therefore, some people don’t know that they carry the disease prior to donating the blood. Testing also determines the blood type of the donor, so they can match it to a receiver of the same blood type. Type O negative is the only blood type that can be accepted by anybody of any blood type, because type O negative blood contains no A or B antigens, which are present in other types of blood. This type of blood is most often used in cases of emergency, when there is not enough time to test what blood the patient has. However, according to thebloodconnection.org, only 6.6 percent of the population has type O negative blood.

On October 10th, Student Council hosted a blood drive that was open to students to donate. The students filled out paperwork and got their parents approval.

“They give us letters, and they let us fill out stuff about if we have traveled out of the country, or something like that, to make sure that we don’t have any problems with our blood first, and then they will start doing our blood drive,” said junior Ann Tran.

There are some risks that come with donating blood. There is a chance of fainting. To prevent many people from fainting, Carter Blood Drive had a weight minimum of 110 pounds. They also give the donors food to maintain their blood sugar.

Overall, there are some risks to blood donations, but it is beneficial to many people whose lives depend on that blood when matching donors aren’t present. According to kidshealth.org, U.S. blood supplies are some of the safest in the world. Also, the risks of contracting certain diseases that are carried through blood are low in the U.S., due to strict blood screenings.

If anyone wants to donate blood, they can check Carter BloodCare website to find a blood drive close to them.

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