Highland Park blood drive

Highland Park had its annual blood drive on Friday, March 16th. Every year, in the early spring, Highland Park Student Council teams up with the Red Cross to put on a blood drive. It is a great cause because all the blood donated goes to people who need it. Anyone who comes into a hospital needing blood can greatly benefit from donated blood, and it can possibly save their life.

This drive was especially important because the Red Cross has had to cancel over 10 drives due to the harsh Minnesota winter this year, so they had a shorter supply of donated blood, and so were very appreciative of us for helping out.

Each year, Student Council plans a fun theme for the drive, and this year it was “March Madness.” Lots of people had their favorite jerseys on, and games were broadcasted on the projector where everyone could see it. Highland had so many volunteers that there was almost always a few people giving blood, and many extra people were there for backup. This year was definitely one of the biggest blood drives that Highland has had.

Donating blood is a serious matter and there are some rules that cannot be broken if you decide to donate blood:

  • You must be 16 years old
    • If you are 16 you and your guardians need to fill out a parent consent form
  • Males must be at least 5 feet tall and weigh 110 lbs
  • Women who are 4’10 must weigh at least 146 lbs
  • Women who are 4’11 must weigh at least 142 lbs
  • Women who are 5’ must weigh at least 138 lbs
  • Women who are 5’1 must weigh at least 133 lbs
  • Women who are 5’2 must weigh at least 129 lbs
  • Women who are 5’3 must weigh at least 124 lbs
  • Women who are 5’4 must weigh at least 120 lbs
  • Women who are 5’5 must weigh at least 115 lbs
  • The day before you donate blood you must eat plenty of food and stay hydrated

If you decide to donate blood, there are many opportunities during the day. Donating blood starts second hour, but there is a sign up sheet to sign your name on what time best suits you. The times go throughout the school day until the end of 7th hour, but there is no guarantee on how long the process will take. Oftentimes, for some people, the process of donating blood can be quick and take roughly 10 minutes, but for others, the process could be long and take up to a half hour. The process really depends on the person.

After you have finished donating blood, you still have to wait another 10-15 minutes before you can leave. During this time you are supposed to just sit and relax and eat some of the snacks provided to make sure you are O.K. before you can go. This is also done to prevent sudden movements like standing up too fast, which could lead to you being lightheaded or fainting.

There are some things to consider before you decide to donate blood. One of these major considerations is whether or not you are involved in sports. Donating blood could render you unable to participate in some sports for a short period of time. For example, if you are playing a sport that involves high activity, such as running track, and you decide to donate blood, you would not be able to do track for a short period of time due to the fact that it takes a while to recover from losing a pint of blood. Participating in these sports could cause health risks such as fainting.

However, if you are participating in a sport that does not involve high activity, such as golf, donating blood shouldn’t affect your ability to participate in that sport.

Talking to your coach about donating blood is also a good idea before you decide to donate blood.

Another major consideration when it comes to donating blood is your own personal health. If you have any health factors that could affect your ability to donate blood, you should talk to your doctor and guardians to make sure donating blood would be a safe choice for you.

We encourage everyone to participate in a blood drive, whether it’s next year at Highland, or somewhere else throughout the year. When Student Council would talk to people who were drawing blood, we asked why they chose to participate today, and almost everyone said that they wanted to give back to the community and give back to people that need it. It really is an amazing opportunity to do good in the world.

Everyone who participates walks out feeling really good about what they did, and proud of helping people. Many people go into it thinking it will be super painful, and a terrible experience, but those that have done it have said that it does not hurt at all, and after a few minutes they were totally comfortable. Giving blood is a really fun experience. You are surrounded by medical technicians that want to help you, and Student Council members are there to help you ease through the process. There are stuffed animals, music, an area with mats to hang out on after your donation, March Madness, fun movies, and tons of snacks!!

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