HOSA to Host Blood Drive

Aubrie Holder, Reporter and Photographer

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 Coffee County HOSA is hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, October 17, from 8:30 to 2:00 pm in the gym. The blood drive is sponsored by the American Red Cross. Blood collected is donated to hospitals for trauma victims, cancer or transplant patients, or people with sickle cell disease or other blood disorders.

High school blood drives are a huge part of the blood supply for both the American Red Cross and Blood Assurance. Also, the high school blood drives supply approximately 10% of the available blood for transfusions. Each donor will be giving one pint or 473 ml of blood. At the school drive, only whole blood will be collected. Each pint or unit will be split into three different products at the Red Cross laboratory. Red blood cells are used for trauma patients or premature babies, platelets may go to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and plasma may go to burn victims. 

Anyone  who would like to donate must be 16 years old the day of the drive, must meet certain height and weight requirements, and have normal vital signs, and hemoglobin. Also, a photo ID is required, and those under 17 years old must bring a permission slip. The day before the drive students need to get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast the day of the drive, and hydrate well the 24 hours prior to the donation.

At the drive, a nurse will check the donor’s temperature, pulse and blood pressure, and do a finger prick to check iron level. If these are all within normal ranges, the patient will be directed to a cot for the donation procedure. After the donation, donors can relax at the canteen where the Red Cross will provide snacks and drinks at no charge.

Coffee County Central High has been one of the top producing schools in the central Tennessee area, winning the Tennessee Valley School of the year award from the Red Cross for 2017 for our participation. For the 2017-18 school year they collected 293 units. The goal for 2018-19 school year is 325 units.

Ms. Barton would love for students to come out and donate this year. She states, “We need everyone working together to help those in need. It might be someone you love needing blood for transfusion so come out and donate!”