Did you know a single car accident victim can be in need of up to 100 pints of blood? One month ago, our very own Isabelle O’Connor (11) and teacher Martin Herrmann participated in a blood drive at the Red Cross center. A blood drive is an organized event where donors can go to donate blood to be used in blood transfusions to save lives.
This simple decision of donating blood can save countless people throughout the world, as it is essentially giving the gift of life. Blood is needed for transfusions to patients with blood diseases, victims of accidents, and to assist recoveries from cancer and its treatment.
All blood types are constantly needed for a number of reasons. It can only be stored for a limited amount of time, which is why charities are always in need. This is to ensure that there is a supply of safe blood available whenever faced with situations where blood is needed.
Although all blood types are needed, this was a special case for Isabelle because she has the blood type, O negative (O-). All negative blood types are extremely rare around the world, but Isabelle’s is especially in demand because O- blood is the ultimate universal donor. This means that its red blood cells are accepted by all four blood types: A, B, O, and AB.
When asked why she decided to do this charitable action, Isabelle explained, “I enjoy helping people and wish to become a paramedic. I figured that donating blood would be a great start.” Furthermore, she elaborates, “it is a simple way to save lives. Our bodies produce more blood than we need, and if that one pint can save a life, then why not donate?“
The process of donating blood is also very quick and easy. Isabelle describes her experience donating blood, saying “we were seated in the beds with a little blanket and then the nurses came. They cleaned our arms, tied on the tourniquet, then searched for a vein. Once they found one, they took out the needle and stuck me with it, then we were all done.”
In order to ensure the safety of donors and recipients, an evaluation is conducted to ensure that all requirements are met. Although requirements vary from place to place, in general, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and also be in good health. A healthy donor can also donate up to 24 times a year.
So next time you see a blood drive, be encouraged to donate some of your blood! Mr. Herrmann assures us that “there will be future opportunities to go to the Red Cross or to participate in drives on campus at ISB.”