“It’s a beautiful day to save lives!”

Any true Grey’s Anatomy fan knows this Derek Shepherd mantra. Like Shepherd, health care workers all over the world depend on donor blood to save lives. According to the Red Cross, 36,000 units of blood are used in the United States per day. Each unit of blood is 525mLs or 1.11 pints. Each donor typically provides one pint of blood per donation, and each pint can potentially save up to three lives. That many units of blood per day may seem like an unreachable demand, but Cherokee High School students can play a role in this cause.

Five Cherokee County Blood Drives Happening This Month
Photo of a Cherokee County blood drive donor. Source: Patch

On Friday, November 15, Cherokee High School is hosting a blood drive. You can go anytime between 1st and 4th period to generously donate your blood.

The number one concern from first-timers is normally 1) pain and 2) the unnerving idea. The donation itself is an 8-10 minute process and is virtually painless while the donor rests comfortably. Donors receive a light snack afterwards. For those with a fear of needles, the American Red Cross recommends listening to music and closing your eyes–and take pride that this will be worth it to those you help. They report a majority of donors feel just fine when done. Those who may experience some faintness rest prior to getting up.

Image result for donate blood

Many may not realize the impact their little bit of time contributes, but blood is a component of the human body that cannot be replicated with a manufactured alternative. It can only be donated. The demand is great, and the amount available that passes the rigorous screening processes is greatly limited.

You have the opportunity to potentially contribute to the life another with an hour or so of time.

You can sign up for the blood drive outside of room 503 at the North campus, or you could sign up during your lunch. You must be 16 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, you must be in good health and feeling well, and you can not have donated blood in last 56 days. You can go to the American Red Cross website to see more requirements you have to meet to be able to donate blood.

Where does it typically go?

Depending on what blood type you have, it could go a variety of places. It could go to cancer treatment facilitates, to sickle-cell patients. surgeries, chronic illness, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation

Does my blood truly help?

Every 2 seconds someone needs blood in the U.S. Everyone who donates blood is truly helping save a life. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood, and when we give blood we can only donate one pint at a time.

Other cool facts about blood donations:

  • Only about 38% of the population is eligible to donate, and fewer than 10% of those eligible donate. This means, if you’re eligible, you’re needed!
  • If you have O- blood, you are a rare treasure! This blood is compatible with all blood types, but not common.
  • AB+ plasma is also universal, but only 3% of the population have this.
  • Blood donation takes an hour on average (or sometimes less).
  • If all eligible donors gave three times a year, it would be highly unlikely the country would face a shortage.

Hopefully by now, you are convinced to give blood. Even if you’re not eligible, encourage those around you who are. It truly is a beautiful day to save lives! Go sign up now, and donate your much needed blood.

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