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American Red Cross and Foothill team up to save lives with blood

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American Red Cross and Foothill team up to save lives with blood

Chloe Hilles

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The possibility of saving a life, having lots of blood, and wanting to help others were some of the reasons why senior Casey O’Neill chose to donate a pint of her blood at the annual blood drive that was put on by the American Red Cross yesterday.

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The possibility of saving a life, having lots of blood, and wanting to help others were some of the reasons why senior Casey O’Neill chose to donate a pint of her blood at the annual blood drive that was put on by the American Red Cross yesterday.

McAdam hoped to reach a goal of 42 pints, which has the potential of saving over 120 lives. Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

McAdam hoped to reach a goal of 42 pints, which has the potential of saving over 120 lives. Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill’s Associated Student Body (ASB) helped organize the event, which was coordinated by sophomore Cameron Strain.

Students aged 16 or older had the option of donating a pint of blood. Each pint of blood is separated into three products: red blood cells, plasma, and blood platelets.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood, and 41,000 blood donations are needed daily.

“[The blood] goes all over,” Mike McAdam, account manager of the Red Cross, said.

Multiple types of patients benefit from the donated blood. “Anyone from someone who is involved in an accident, needs a transplant, has to have an operation, they are going to most likely need red cells,” McAdam explained.

One single car accident victim can need as many as 100 pints of blood and blood transfusions use approximately three pints.

Plasma is also collected and used for helping treat blood clots and as a medication for hemophilia.

The blood platelets that are collected are used mainly to help cancer patients when they go through treatment.

Type O-negative blood is very rare but can be transfused to patients of any blood type.

Not all students at Foothill are eligible to donate – only those who were 16 years of age, and met the height and weight requirements. Females must be at least 5’6” and 110 pounds, males just have to be at least 110 pounds. 

 

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Students also have to go through a series of past health history questions to ensure the safety of themselves and those that will receive the donated blood.

Drinks and snacks were provided to the donors to help raise their glucose levels. Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Drinks and snacks were provided to the donors to help raise their glucose levels. Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

For many students, it was their first time donating, although there were a few that had donated blood previously.

Senior Michael Vaughan was a first-time donor.

“[I chose to donate] because I think it is for a good cause and it’s a lot of fun. You get the whole school involved and it’s a good experience,” he said.

Donating veteran senior Sam Hernandez chose to donate for the second time “to help people that need my blood,” he said. “I don’t really need it right now… [my body] is just going to make more.”

Prior to giving blood, donors commented that they were “nervous,” “excited,” and “hungry.”

McAdam hoped that at the blood drive, the Red Cross reached their goal of 42 pints, which has the potential of saving over 120 lives.

“Overall it was a very positive experience for me,” O’Neill said. “I was afraid at first, but I was able to overcome my fear and possibly save a life in the process. I thankfully am healthy and able to replenish my blood so I would be glad to donate again.”

 

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Background Photo Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

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1 Comment

One Response to “American Red Cross and Foothill team up to save lives with blood”

  1. Captain on February 8th, 2016 4:16 pm

    We got 29 pints of blood. That’s 87 lives saved!

     

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American Red Cross and Foothill team up to save lives with blood