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A student having her blood drawn. Photo by Josh Daw.
Angelica Suarez has her blood drawn. Photo by Josh Daw.
FHS blood drive saves lives

BloodSource tests student blood for Zika.

Foothill High School had its annual blood drive on January 24th, 2017, hosted by BloodSource. BloodSource is a community-based, non-profit blood center that provides blood and services throughout Northern and Central California. Collecting blood from donors is not only used for helping patients, but also for research.

This year, the blood is being used to research the Zika virus. The Zika virus is spread mostly through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Zika virus doesn’t affect adults except for a few minor symptoms, but it does affect the fetus of a pregnant woman. When a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, it can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, which is a brain defect. This is why BloodSource is reaching out and collecting blood from volunteer donors.

When I went out and asked a couple of students as to why they gave blood.

Kat McDermott, FHS senior explained that, “Donating blood saves lives and it’s a good way to give without spending money yourself. You don’t have to spend money to donate it, it’s just something you have.”

I personally donated blood because I feel like it’s the best thing I can do for someone in need; considering that 40,000 pints of blood are used every day in the U.S.

Now, BloodSource takes one pint from you, from that one pint is 96 teaspoons. It takes 3 teaspoons to save a baby’s life. That means you can potentially save 32 baby’s lives. How can that not make you feel better about yourself? You’re needed.

No matter what blood type you are, you should donate. All blood is needed. It is important that all types of blood are donated. Because if there are 100 people in a room, 46 will have type O blood, 40 will have type A, 10 will have type B and 4 will have type AB. Since more people tend to be type O, a lot of people with O type blood think, “Since my blood type is so common, why should I donate? They probably have a lot of blood like mine.” While that may be true, there’s a higher demand for that specific blood type because so many people have it.

It’s good to have a high supply of every kind of blood supply; because even if we aren’t using it at this moment, it can be used later down the line.

Say we had a natural disaster and people needed blood transfusions. I’m talking hundreds of people. If nobody donated, there wouldn’t be enough blood to help these people, and people would die because someone decided they didn’t want to give blood because they’re scared of needles, or their blood type is so common.

In order to donate the basic requirements are very minimal. You must be at least 16 (with parent permission) in the state of California, weigh at least 110 pounds, and you must be feeling healthy and well. A.K.A you need to be free from cold or flu symptoms for at least three days before giving blood.

You cannot give blood if you’ve had hepatitis after the age of 10, been pregnant in the last six weeks, or could be pregnant, taking any antibiotics for infection, have aids, at risk of aids, or have had leukemia or myeloma.

If you qualify to donate blood, BloodSource encourages you to donate whenever you can. You also get a nifty t-shirt to show off after giving blood.



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