Bloodmobile, Feb. 1 at EV-W H.S.

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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By Alex Theis, EV-W senior

The posters are hung around the school and communities. The bulletin board by the high school office is sporting facts, statistics, and information. The time has come again for giving blood as the American Red Cross Bloodmobile sets up in the Eden Valley-Watkins High School cafeteria from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Donating blood seems like an obvious decision to make, so why don't we see more people in our communities doing it? It's a simple, quick process that can make a huge difference in many lives.

I've heard many people's excuses: no time in their busy schedules, afraid of being pricked by needles, and lack of information about the donating process.

These reasons for not giving blood may seem valid to some, but not in my mind. People who are in dire need of a blood transfusion probably didn't have it scheduled into their busy schedules either, yet they still need to do it. They depend on us to give up a half hour of our evening to share a pint of blood with them.

I do admit that needles can be scary little instruments of terror, but so what? We've all had shots and survived. Those needle pricks were probably for our benefit, so it only seems fair that we would undergo another prick of a needle to save the life of someone else.

Out of these excuses, lack of information comes out to be the most understandable excuse for not donating blood. It isn't too hard to find information though, especially not if I explain it right now.

Before going into details about the specific giving process, it's important to share the benefits of donating blood. The American Red Cross website lists many facts and statistics about blood donation and use. Read a few of these and try to come up with a good excuse not to donate.

* Blood is needed in the U.S. every two seconds.

* The average blood transfusion needs three pints.

* More than 38,000 donations are needed every single day.

* Just one donation can save up to three lives.

* A single car accident victim may need up to 100 pints of blood to survive.

Giving blood is an easy, harmless way to help save the lives of others. The first step is to make an appointment for the upcoming blood drive. Sign up in the high school office or contact Bonnie Meyer.

Next, show up for the appointment a little early. Blood drives can get pretty busy, but they can also run slow at times, so getting in early is sometimes possible.

After waiting until it's your turn, an American Red Cross worker will take you to a small private room and ask some questions about traveling and illnesses to make sure you are well enough to give and don't have any diseases.

After questions, your finger will be pricked to check your hemoglobin and temperature. If you pass these, you are ready to give.

Giving isn't difficult or painful. As the needle is being inserted, just look away and think of something else. Even though the needle stays in for a few minutes while your blood is being donated, it doesn't hurt after it's in. Just concentrate on the red squeezy ball and you won't even know it's there.

Afterwards, you need to stick around for a while so your body can recover. This is where you get to choose from the glorious mountain of donuts, bread, and pretzels.

A few things to remember before you donate: bring your ID and donor card if you have one, eat foods full of iron a couple days before, and drink lots of water the day of.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, come to the high school and donate some time and blood. It's an easy way to do something good for people whose lives depend on your donation.