Red Cross CHS 2018

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Red Cross CHS 2018

Katie Cox, Writer

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On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Red Cross Blood Drive came to Cartersville High. Around fifty students donated blood to the Red Cross. “It saves people’s lives,” Hannah Everett (senior) says when asked for a quote about her experience, “It`s a great way to help out in the community.”

In most states, a donor must be seventeen to give blood. However, in Georgia, a donor can be sixteen with a parent/guardian’s permission. A person must weigh at least 110 pounds, but additional height and weight requirements apply for students eighteen or younger. A donor is also not allowed to give if he/she has given in the last fifty-six days.  

The process from the time you come in to the time you leave takes about an hour. When you arrive, you must sign registration papers, show ID, read important information, and complete the address papers to where your mail will be sent eight weeks after. Before giving, you will have a confidential interview about health history and places you’ve traveled in the last year. They will take blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and hemoglobin level.  

When it is time for the donation, a staff member will clean the injection site and insert a new, sterile needle for the blood draw. The donation itself takes about 8 – 10 minutes, where the donor will be seated or lying down. When a whole pint is given, the donation is complete. A snack and drink will be provided when the donation is over. After ten to fifteen minutes, the donor can leave and resume daily routines. Red Cross goes through a six-step process when a donation is made:  

  • The Donation – giving the blood 
  • Processing – scanning the blood into a database 
  • Testing – tests blood for infections 
  • Storage – holds suitable blood until ready to use 
  • Distribution – blood is shipped to hospitals 
  • Transfusion – blood is transfused to the injured in need 

 To find out how you can donate blood, go to https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/donation-process-overview.html for more information.