Valley Ventana

Blood drive reaches conclusion

The 2018 blood drive ends with another successful year

The blood trucks wait to open their doors to donors amid a sunny day.

Daniel Lackey

The blood trucks wait to open their doors to donors amid a sunny day.

Daniel Lackey, Skylar Butts, Staff Writers

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In just moments, the students huddling in clusters underneath the white staircase leading down to the auditorium will make a difference. Each student attempts to concentrate on homework, their phones, and to conversations as they await their turn. A woman occasionally spouts out names, and students stand up and follow with either looks of nervousness or blank stares plastered on their faces. The task at hand requires courage, but it does not exclude bouts of squeamishness regarding blood and needles. By putting that uncomfortable feeling behind them, the blood donors stroll on over to rescue the lives of those in urgent need.

On Oct. 4, the FACS department partnered with South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to hold the annual blood drive.

“The students started scheduling everything in April and May,” said Tina Olcott, the FACS director at SV,  “sign-ups started about a month ago.”

Students, aged sixteen or older, with their parents` permission, can donate a pint of blood. These donations are used for surgeries, transfusions, even cancer treatments. The blood can be stored for up to six weeks, and is vital for emergency surgeries and serious accidents. Not only is whole blood used, but plasma and platelets in the blood are utilized as well. Plasma is used to stop extreme bleeding and can be used as a secondary clotting factor. Platelet transfusions are common, and are given to people who lack the ability to produce enough platelets on their own.

“It’s true one pint of blood saves three lives,” Olcott said. “I have a student whose relative needs blood for surgery, and is giving blood to support the cause. I think it’s cool to see the outcome of the drive.”

Because the buses are only at the school once a year, many students were first time donors.

“It’s my first time doing it,” senior Madison Sanchez said. “I decided to do it so that I could help people out.”

The FACS department’s promotion of the event also encouraged students to sign up.

“I heard about lots of people doing it,” junior Emily Barry said. “Just knowing that I could possibly assist others [is meaningful].”

Squeamishness aside, students still made an impact on their community.

“[The idea of giving blood] feels good, even if I’m terrified of needles!” senior Megan Hoffman said.

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