American Red Cross blood drive

The American Red Cross (ARC) is an organization which focuses on providing emergency and disaster relief to families. The ARC has services in 4 different areas: comfort and communication for military service and their families, collecting blood donations, educational programs, and international relief programs.

One of the most well known, and highly needed services, the Red Cross offers, is the process of collecting blood. According to the ARC, about every two seconds someone in the US needs blood, and the most needed type of blood is O negative. O negative is important because if there is no time to test for a person’s blood type, O negative will work with any blood. Many cancer patients will need a blood transfusion frequently – sometimes every day. The average blood transfusion is 3 pints, and every donor will give about 1 pint of blood, but the average car accident victim can use up to 100 pints of blood.  

The process of donating blood is a very safe process. The nurse drawing blood uses a sterile needle, which is only used once, then discarded. Blood donation has four steps to it.

  • The first step is registration
  • The second step includes having the doctors/nurses get a medical history and do a mini physical
  • Third, you donate
  • Fourth, afterwards you receive refreshments

The actual time it takes someone to donate their blood is 10-12 minutes, but the whole process can take up to an 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Highland Park Senior High hosted the Red Cross on March 17th. Highland had 50 people show up – giving a total of 41 pints. Many of the students at Highland were very anxious and scared. One student, Michaela Malone (11) said, “I’m very nervous to give blood because I’m afraid of needles.” Later she said, “I’m scared that I will faint, but I’m excited that I will be helping a person in need.”

As I talked to other students the word was the same, Lane Fry (11) mentioned, “I feel like I’m gonna die. I wanted to donate my blood because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I thought many people might need blood tonight. I also just wanted to do something good for myself.”

Many of Highland’s students also volunteered to help run the event. Highland students did most of the stuff that kept things running smoothly so the nurses could focus on collecting blood. I asked Jilly Wortman (11) what she did to help out. Jilly replied with, “I signed people in, gave information to donors, supplied water for people, and I also comforted people while they were donating blood.”

Will Pribula (12) was donating not only for the good of other people but for himself. As I asked him how he was feeling before the donation he said, “I’m really bored and kind of wanna get this over with. It’s not what I thought. I imagined that I would come donate blood and leave but instead I’ve been sitting for an hour, getting bored and the music selection is poor, but at least I’m getting out of class.” His reactions after we’re surprisingly different as he said, “It was very relaxing and I feel great about donating today.”

Neesha Moore (11) felt the same after the donation process as she told me “It was a blast! I encourage everyone to do it. It was a weird feeling of happiness, dizziness, and relaxation. I feel like I should be giggling, but that’s probably due to the amount of blood loss.”