NHS blood drive saves lives, provides research material

A National Honor Society-sponsored blood drive allowed students and staff to donate their time and services on Wednesday, March 13 on the south side of the school.

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Michaela Buchli ’19 offers a smile during her blood donation with a bottle of juice on-hand to battle fatigue. Cookies were also offered to donors. Photo by: C. York

The requirements for having blood drawn included meeting a minimum weight, being at least eighteen years of age or sixteen with a signed parent permission form and a form of identification. In return, donors received an hour of community service, a free t-shirt, and the potential to save up to three lives and/or contribute to various studies. According to NHS member Jayson Klaumann ’19, around 35 participants were accounted for on Wednesday.

“We had a similar number of donors as we did in the fall which was good to see,” Klaumann said. “I think the blood drive went very well! I believe [donating] is important because you can truly save lives in the process, and doing anything that can save lives is undoubtedly worth it.”

Students who just turned sixteen between the last blood drive and the one held this week had the opportunity to donate for the first time. Two factors that caused some anxiety for these new donors were being unfamiliar with the process and the withdrawal itself. For Camryn Wisnieski ’21, the benefits of the drive were enough to overcome these fears.

“I was very nervous and I was just scared because I don’t like needles,” Wisnieski said. “I wanted to help save some people’s lives. I would donate again because I really like helping other people.”

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Joshua Ortgies ’19 watches on as a worker carries out the blood withdrawal process. The donations were made in a medically-licensed truck parked near National Honor Society Advisor Julie Petersen’s room on the south side of the high school. Photo by: J. Ondrak

Those overseeing the process had concerns as well. Fatigue and nausea after donating is very common. To prevent incidents, those who participated in the drive were escorted back to class with the assistance of an NHS member.

“As far as I know, there were no donors who got abundantly sick or blacked-out after donating which was reassuring,” Klaumann said.

The next big event for NHS comes on Thursday, March 21 when new members will undergo a ceremonial induction in the Burkley Fine Arts Center at 7 p.m..