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The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

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MHS Red Cross Hosts Successful Blood Drive, Returning from Pandemic Hiatus

Donor+Varun+Jayaram+gets+encouragement+from+student+volunteers+as+he+gives+blood
Donor Varun Jayaram gets encouragement from student volunteers as he gives blood

After nearly three years of hiatus due to the pandemic, MHS’s Red Cross Club successfully hosted a Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on Thursday, March 2. Over the course of the day, 110 MHS students came to give blood and 68 successfully donated. 

Students 16 years of age and older arrived at the main gym anytime during the school day. They checked in at the front desk with the volunteers of the club, received a name tag, and read through an information packet about the requirements and donating process. Next in personal screening, the donors were asked specific questions to determine if they were safe to donate. When approved, they moved to the donating beds set up in a pod-like fashion: nurses on the inside handling the donation, donors on the beds, and student club members on the outside offering support. After the donation was completed, donors would be assisted to mats on the far left of the gym and were given snacks to fuel up before returning to class.

Senior Daniel Johnson, one of the donors, said “I’m glad that my donation will be able to help other people during this national shortage of blood. This blood drive was well-planned, with lots of helpful Red Cross staff and volunteers to communicate with us and help us move safely through the process.”

The goal for this blood drive was 60 units, but needless (needle-less, haha, get it?) to say, Red Cross members were delighted to collect 71 units of blood! According to the American Red Cross, 1 unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. 4 of the students were Power Red donors, meaning that the red blood cells were separated and collected from their blood while the actual plasma and platelets were returned. This process can save nearly twice as many lives as a traditional blood donation. 

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The 42 students who showed up but couldn’t donate were deferred during the screening process, because it may have been unsafe (for either the donor or the recipient) for them to donate blood. Being deferred can be due to many reasons such as anemia (low iron levels), small veins, traveling to certain foreign countries (malaria potent) less than three years ago, receiving tattoos (especially from uncertified shops and/or countries) or piercings (especially using reusable instruments) less than three months, or not meeting the height/weight proportion requirements. This allows both the donors and recipients to stay safe.

Senior Red Cross Club member Ananya Shrivastava said: “As a volunteer, most of what we did was giving out snacks and helping people who gave blood feel comfortable and back to normal as soon as possible. We had a few bumps in the road, but even those who struggled after donating blood took it like champs. I especially want to give a shout-out to everyone who registered, came, and got deferred, because they’re often left unappreciated. You guys put in the effort and I promise the volunteers see that. Thank you to everyone who showed up, Mrs. Thompson, and the Red Cross team!”

Our school nurse and Red Cross Club’s advisor Mrs. Kathy Thompson gives a huge shout-out to the club volunteers for helping out with the blood drive and to the donors for saving lives by donating!

The fall and spring blood drives coming up for the following school year are scheduled respectively for November 2, 2023, and March 7, 2024. If you are interested in helping with the upcoming blood drives or donating blood, please stop by the Nurse’s office or email Mrs. Thompson at [email protected].

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Rasika Sivakumar, Staff Writer, Web Admin

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