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We Wear Red to “Give” Red

Kat Tokazowski, Staff Writer

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This past week on November 9th Page had its semi-annual blood drive. The turnout this year was better than any in the past decade. Normally about 100 students and faculty sign up for the blood drive while only about 80 actually show up and about 90% of those donors are eligible for donating blood. This year we had around 110 people sign up to donate and Red Cross walked away with 85 pints of blood. To be eligible for donation you must have your finger pricked so they can test your blood beforehand. Then, after they finish taking a pint of your blood, they take a little bit more for sampling to make sure there are no other hidden issues with the blood that will affect the receiver of the donated blood. Red Cross goes to all Guilford County Schools that will allow them to have a blood drive, then the blood donated goes to 105 different hospitals.  The process of giving blood is simple. After they make sure your hemoglobin level is alright they will take you to a bed where they mark your vein, give you some juice and snacks to eat while your blood is being drawn, and then you’re just waiting for a while for your bag to fill up. This can take between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of your vein and blood flow.

Every blood drive we have excellent phlebotomist-the people who draw the blood which is a specific type of nurse. This time around though we got to get a little more personal with the workers and the donors. When asked her reason for going into this business, Ashley Grant-the woman in charge of organizing the blood drive- said, “At the end of the day, I’m really happy with the knowledge people are living another day because they received this blood.” Grant has been working on this team for a decade now and does not plan to stop any time soon. One of the nurses, Perry, started doing this when he was 50. “When I was 50 years old, I got displaced from my job. I went home and started thinking about what do I wanna do now that will make a difference, so I decided to become a nurse at age 50.” You wouldn’t even guess he was 50 by how upbeat he is with the donors, always cracking jokes and snide remarks. You would guess he was enrolled at Page with the rest of the donors. We also had a part-time firefighter that chose to be a full time phlebotomist instead over his full time firefighter job. We also had some of our own students, like Lucy Froelich and Cam Milroy, helping with the process by giving the donors any snacks or juice they needed or just talking to the donors to help distract them from the process.

While the turn out for this blood drive was a major success, we are hoping to get even more donors at the next blood drive in March. Donating blood, no matter what blood type you have, will save someone’s life. Next time the blood drive comes around, think about what good you can do by just sitting there and drinking some juice and eating some cookies. You will not know how much it means to someone in need.

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We Wear Red to “Give” Red