By Jenny Macler ’23
During the first weekend of April, the annual blood drive honoring Margaret P. Addicks was held by the Hearts for Action club and the American Red Cross. Each blood donor has the potential to save up to three lives with their donation, and this year’s donors were certainly no exception
The drive was a success, with 45 donors and lots of volunteers. This year’s blood drive was so popular and successful that some donors had to be turned away, because the Red Cross reached their max donation capacity. In total, 14 donors had to reschedule their donation. The drive lasted from 9am to 2pm with a constant inflow of people from FGS and the greater Washington community. A few students’ parents even showed up to donate! The Red Cross workers who facilitated the drive used the TPACC flex room to set up equipment and run the drive.
Donors thought the experience went well and were happy to have donated. Some were experienced donors, having donated seven to eight times already, while others were doing it for the first time and felt a little nervous. The Red Cross workers, however, were professionally trained and had all the required equipment and supplies to ensure that everyone was safe and healthy.
The donation process consists of going over a potential donor’s health history and a performing mini physical examination. From there, one pint of blood is collected along with a few other test tubes for testing. The donor’s blood is then labeled and kept in ice before being taken to the Red Cross center for processing.
At the processing center, the blood is spun in centrifuges which separate the blood’s red cells, platelets, and plasma. The components are packaged into standardized units that are sent to doctors to use in transfusions. Meanwhile, the additional test tubes are sent to a laboratory where other tests are performed. If any infectious disease results are positive, that donor’s blood is discarded. The stored blood can be used in many circumstances such as serious injuries, surgeries, childbirth, anemia treatments, cancer treatments, and for treatment of other blood disorders. By donating blood, donors help serve a variety of issues. Especially now that there is a blood shortage in the US, it is incredibly important that people continue to donate, so thank you to everyone who participated in the Margaret P. Addicks Blood Drive!