HOSA Blood Drive

Talia Morley, Staff Writer

To help save a life, even doing the smallest things can make a big difference. On Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 HOSA held their first blood drive since the pandemic started at McIntosh High School.

HOSA is a student-led organization that is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Technology Education Division of ACTE. HOSA was formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, and it was recently changed to HOSA Future Health Professionals. This organization was founded in 1976 and it is offered all over America.

For the blood drive, the McIntosh HOSA partnered with Life South Community Healthcare. This was the first blood drive at MHS since the pandemic in 2020 hit, causing the event to be canceled. There were over 100 students and teachers participating in this blood drive and they each donated a pint of blood with the exception of one person.

History teacher Chris Judy, participated in this blood drive, donating double the amount of blood. Judy has O negative blood which is the universal blood donor type, which means it’s compatible for everyone.

“I am actually giving double the amount of blood, so I have O negative which is the universal donor, so I always give double. I like donating blood to help someone’s life, and I would rate the pain a zero,” said Judy.

The amount of time it took for each person’s pint of blood to fill up varied. Some people took fifteen minutes, while others took thirty minutes to an hour. The amount of time it takes for the blood to fill up varies on the person’s health, age, and weight.

“I feel really excited for the blood drive because I always wanted to know what my blood type was because it’s been a mystery. I’ve been looking for my blood type on my birth certificate, and through everything and still haven’t found it so I’m really excited to find out,” said Orion Zimmerman, a senior. “Helping other people has always been a dream of mine. I love the idea of helping out somebody who needs me, and it’s our responsibility to help those who are …suffering from bad things because they would do the same thing for us.”.

To donate blood you must be at least sixteen years of age, 110 pounds minimum, and be in good health. Before donating blood, one must make sure they’ve eaten food and drank plenty of water because donating blood removes a lot of iron and commonly causes dizziness and nausea.

“When they first put the needle in, it kind of pinched a little bit, but I didn’t feel anything after. I would rate the pain on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most pain, probably a four. It feels good knowing there’s something in me that can help other people’s lives,”said Harini Mohan, a junior.

The blood donated from this drive will stay in the community, but it will also be transferred to those who are most in need of it. There are about 45 questions that are asked to the donors including: medications they’ve been on, places they’ve recently traveled, family medical history and more.

Laurie Russell, the Director for Lifesouth Community Healthcare said ,”Hospitals might need very specific blood types for their patients. They might have a regular order that comes in weekly or daily and what happens is if they get an urgent need for a stat order because they have a patient that has maybe internal bleeding, or a child needs cancer treatment, we will actually make sure we meet those needs and provide them with the stat order. It’s also really important for minority donors to donate as well because a lot of the time they match up with the antigens the patient has specifically.”

The donors spent around an hour at the blood drive. Once they finished donating blood, they stayed in the room sitting down, eating and drinking water to replenish their iron. It is very important to take care of yourself when donating blood because it can temporarily weaken your body and cause mild side effects.

The 2022 blood drive was the first McIntosh participated in since the Pandemic hit in 2020, and it was a success. Many students participated and donated blood to the community, and the blood is now getting put to good use.

“I think the blood drive is a great thing, it gives students a chance to impact other people’s lives, and it also feels good knowing you’re doing something to help others,” said Amy Marquez, a junior.