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If You Really Want to Lend a Hand, Lend an Arm

Valerie Hart, Staff Writer

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For the last several years Alter High School has been proud to hold a blood drive accessible to the students attending the high school. Today during Mr. Bolden’s first period class a guest speaker was asked to come in to educate the students on the importance and the process of donating blood.

The speaker, both a licensed teacher and licensed nurse, discussed several of her experiences with donors and those who need blood. One of the experiences had occurred in her family. Years ago her mother required brain surgery due to internal bleeding in her brain. In order for the bleeding to be stopped the doctors needed to operate and she required several pints of blood. The blood that was donated by donors, potentially a donor like yourself, was able to save her mother’s life.

Those who undergo brain surgery are not the only people who require blood transfusions. It is believed that a car accident occurs every 14 seconds in the United States. An injured victim involved in a car crash may need as many as 100 pints of blood after the accident. The guest speaker spoke of several patients who had required this much blood in order for their lives to be saved.

It’s not every day that we are given the chance to donate blood. The opportunity to donate blood through Alter only occurs twice a year. Fortunately, the next blood drive will be held on November 20th where both students and faculty of our school will be able help those in our community who are in need of blood.

It is ideal that everyone who registers to donate will be able to do so but there are certain circumstances that may stand in the way. Donators must be at least seventeen and weigh a minimum of one-hundred-ten pounds. Students who wish to donate can be sixteen and still donate if they have a parent’s consent. Obviously donors should be in good health, and have a good heart rate and excellent blood pressure. Issues with any of these requirements may affect your ability to donate.

If you wish to donate, contact Mrs. Kernan, the school’s nurse. Students will be reporting to the gym to donate during their assigned or chosen times on the Friday the drive is being held.

Prior to your donation it is very important for you to stay hydrated and eat a nutritious meal. This preferred diet should include protein and iron rich foods, such as meats, fish, beans, and spinach. Foods to avoid are high in fat such as hamburgers and ice cream. Having too much fat in your blood will prevent it from being tested for infectious diseases and thus make it unusable. Drinking plenty of water is essential as it will help your veins expand and therefore making the process of drawing blood easier.

When it’s time for you to donate make the nurse aware if you have a preferred arm you would like them to draw blood from. The easier it is to access your veins, the less complications there will be drawing blood. It’s important to relax during this time so listen to music, talk to the staff or other donors, and keep calm.

Immediately after your donation, hydrate and nourish your body to supply yourself with energy. Blood contains a lot of sugar and losing such a large amount of blood could make you feel nauseous. Refreshments and snacks will more than likely be available in the gym at no charge to the donor.

Opportunities to donate are offered other places aside from Alter. To schedule your next donation, go online to givingblood.org or contact Alter’s nurse, Mrs. Kernan.

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If You Really Want to Lend a Hand, Lend an Arm