Blood Drive held Nov. 13

The annual Ames High Blood Drive, sponsored by Senior Senate, was held on Nov. 13. 115 students crowded the gym from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Though the actual collection of blood took only about 20 minutes, students were asked to set aside an hour of their day for the entire process, which included donor registration and donor history screening. “I was down there for an hour and a half, but the wait was worth knowing you will be helping someone in need,” senior Mary Halbur said. Students were asked to donate a whole unit of blood, equivalent to one pint, which can save up to three lives. 14 tests are performed on each unit of blood to ensure its safety. Friday, 73 units of whole blood and 9 units of double red cells were collected, which exceeded Senior Senate’s goal of 75 total units. “It truly amazes me how many Ames High students are willing to take time and donate,” Senior Senate adviser Kelly Micalone said. “I would like to thank the Blood Center of Iowa for giving them that opportunity.” The blood collected is to be used for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, organ and marrow transplants, cardiovascular surgeries or treatment for blood disorders, as well as those with significant blood loss after an accident or trauma. “It just feels good knowing I can help out,” second time donor Alex Houghton said. 71% of students who had registered were first time donors. “I was a first-time donor so I was a little nervous,” senior Burak Demirci said. “It turned out to be special experience, though.” Some students weren’t able to help for a variety of reasons, including weight requirements, travel history or illnesses. 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10 percent donate annually. “I tried [to donate] but I was too low on iron,” junior Chrissy Amaya said. “I was under the weight limit and I traveled to Africa last summer.” Meese said. Though many students were ineligible to donate this year, they are encouraged not to give up. “Try again when you are feeling better or after the given amount of time being back in the country,” Micalone said. “It’s great that they want to donate and donors are always needed.” Someone in the world needs blood every two seconds, making the need for blood critical. “Many students may not understand how important blood donation is because they don’t know anyone who receives blood, but it is more common than they think.” Micalone said. “My hope is that the students that donate now will become life long donors and continue to seek out opportunities to donate.”