By Lexi Schneider
Every 2 seconds, someone in America needs blood. It is impossible to manufacture blood, and donations are the only way to fulfill the need of the 41, 000 blood transfusions that take place every day. Upper Dublin High School did its part to help with the cause by hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, February 25, during the school day. Students, teachers, and the community came together in the auxiliary gym to try and meet the goal of the drive. Mr. Gesing, head of the Upper Dublin Key Club (which sponsored the event, along with the Red Cross), told me about the blood drive’s success. “Our goal was to collect 85 units (pints)”, he said. “We surpassed that goal and collected 90 units. This is the most blood we’ve collected since 2008. “
Donation is a safe process, consisting of four steps. First is registration. Next comes a medical history check and mini physical, where patient temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin levels are checked to ensure the patient is healthy enough to donate. The actual donation takes place next, and usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, the patient is given refreshments and time to recover. Mr. Gesing donated this year, making him a 6th or 7th time donor. “It feels like a slight pinch on your forearm”, he described. “This time my arm was a little itchy, kind of like a hive or bug bite, while I was donating. Donation can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. From registration to recovery it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.” Once blood is collected, it is given to several local blood banks. At the blood banks, blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets, and then distributed to area hospitals.
Blood donations are a great way to give back to your community and help those in need. “I donate because every pint I donate saves three lives”, said Mr. Gesing. “You have no idea how important blood is until you need some. Without a clean, diverse blood supply our health as a community will be seriously compromised. This means that friends, loved ones, and relatives could suffer and possibly die without our help.” With 90 units collected this Febuary, Upper Dublin has helped to save 270 lives, and we will continue to help the cause every year in the future.