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Student-Run HOSA Encourages Blood Donation

Alejandra Robinson, Staff Writer

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It’s that time of year again.

Giving something a little more special than holiday presents —
— blood.

The student-run organization, HOSA, is teaming up with the Red Cross to host a blood drive on Dec. 8.

With roughly 4,000 kids that attend Wando, it would seem as if several units of blood would be received.

However, less than half of the student body is eligible to participate.

The first problem comes with the age.

Stephanie Kelleher, one of the sponsors for HOSA, is trying to make people aware of the limitations.

“At Wando, you have to be able to consent on your own. You have the be 17 (although the legal age to donate is 16) because of a problem at Wando a few years ago,” Kelleher said. “People were forging their parents’ signatures and it was a liability problem.”

Along with the age requirements, there are also roadblocks such as weight, height, medications you are taking/have taken, recent tattoos, countries you traveled to and illnesses.
The qualifications filter out voluntary students as it is — and the number continues diminishing.

Students that are participating in athletic activities cannot donate unless they want to miss a day of practice — nearly impossible at the competitiveness of AAAAA athletics.
Many people, which includes a majority of girls, become ineligible if they’re anemic.

This makes the turn out of the blood drive minimal.

But there are ways to prevent health issues — such as anemia.

Ways to know if you are anemic can sometimes be self-diagnosed.

“One way to know (if you’re anemic), is if you’re very tired all the time, cold all the time, and get out of breath easily,” Kelleher said. “I think a lot of kids here don’t eat a lot of meats, fish and or dark leafy vegetables and iron-rich foods such as whole grains and nuts.”

Ensuring that you are anemia-free is one way to guarantee that you are safe to donate blood. Perhaps you might end up very eligible to donate — such as being labeled as a Power Red donor.

Power Red donors are any healthy males 5’1″ over 130 pounds and any healthy female 5’5″ over 150 pounds.
They can give two units of blood — 220 milliliters — instead of just one.

While Power Red donors are highly desired, if you meet all the qualification your donation counts too. You could be saving or helping someone’s life.

Signs ups for the blood drive on Dec. 8. will during 3rd lunch following the week before the actual blood drive.

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Student-Run HOSA Encourages Blood Donation