Give Blood, Save Lives

Kylie Gast, Editor

Students at Central Heights High School are given the opportunity to easily donate blood multiple times throughout the school year. The “blood bus” waits outside the school, and a stream of students filter in and out. They enter timidly, often looking wary or anxious, and leave with brightly colored gauze that loudly announces that they are a donor. 

Mrs. Thorn, the teacher responsible for the event, and her students can be seen patrolling the school in search of volunteers for weeks before donation day. The principal reads off announcements, and students hear reminders to “Sign up to donate blood!” over the morning announcements. Some do, of course, to satisfy their charitable urges or even to get out of class, but most students stall. They choose not to volunteer and regard the ordeal with narrow-eyed suspicion.

Why should you donate blood, anyway? There’s many reasons. The first is that when you donate blood, it doesn’t go to waste. For roughly an hour of your time and a bit of dizziness, you could be saving someone’s life. A single donation could be responsible for saving up to three lives; that’s three people that your charity will have directly helped! When patients are admitted into the hospital, it’s a one in seven chance that they’ll need a blood transfusion. Your blood donation could become a transfusion for a woman having pregnancy complications, a severely anemic child, or someone suffering severe trauma from accidents or natural disaster. 

If you’re not interested in the charity side, donating blood could also have medical benefits for you. There’s a screening process before donating blood, and this screening could alert you to previously unknown medical issues. Regularly donating blood can reduce your risk of contracting hemochromatosis, which is a condition caused by an excess of iron in the body. It can also decrease your risk of cancer. 

All said, donating blood is a positive experience that impacts many lives outside of the donor. You save a life when you donate blood, and it helps you out, too. It’s a small effort for a maximum reward.