The Blood Drive
Here at Dixon high school, we have special events students can involve themselves in. This past week we had the blood drive. It is an event where students give a pint of their blood for a pint of ice cream. There are many steps before you can give blood though. They say that you may not give blood if;
- You have Aids or have ever tested positive for a HIV test.
- Have ever used needles to take drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by your doctor.
- Are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once.
- Have had syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 12 months.
- If you have been in prison for longer than 72 hours.
- Have any of the following conditions that can be signs or symptoms of HIV/AIDS
- Unexplained weight loss or night sweats
- Blue or purple spots in your mouth or skin
- Swollen lymph nodes for more than a month
- White spots or unusual soars in your mouth
- Cough that won’t go away or shortness of breath
- Diarrhea that won’t go away
- Fever of more than 100.5 degrees F. for more than 10 days.
There are some things you must do before you can give blood though. You are asked questions about health, travel, and medicines. They ask questions to see if you are at risk for any STD’s, take your blood pressure and pulse, and they take a small sample of your blood by pricking your finger. Just to make sure that you are not anemic. They ask you questions like, “Have you had intercourse?” or “Do you have a Tattoo?”. They expect your complete honesty because these questions are for the safety of the patient receiving your blood. Patients in local hospitals are the ones who receive the blood, along with the military. The blood is sold to the hospitals for the price it takes to put on the event. It is not sold for a profit. The blood also gets donated to the military. Before your blood is shipped off to their respective destinations, the blood is tested for hepatitis B and C, HIV, certain other viruses, and syphilis. If your blood is contaminated in any way it will not be given to the patient. You will also be notified about the results so you know weather or not you may donate in the future.
We decided to ask a student who had blood drawn and what they thought about the whole thing. Aldemaro Loarca, a senior at Dixon High School has given blood 6 times over his lifetime. He said, “I enjoy giving blood because it really saves lives!” When asked if it hurt giving blood he said, “Not really, the lady did a good job.” After you get your blood drawn you get to go grab some snacks and then you go back to class. This is a reoccurring event put on by the leadership class, so if you missed it there will be more during the school year. Donating blood saves lives. Every pint of blood helps. So get out there and donate!