Blood Drive 2014

Blood Drive 2014

Caroline Bohnenstengel

On February 26th, eighty-five people donated blood at the annual Towson High Blood Drive. After signing up for the event in advance, the potential donors came into school prepared, if not a little petrified, to donate. When the appointment time arrived, donors made their way down to the gym and signed themselves in. By the time the afternoon came around, there was a long wait that gave everyone ample time to regret ever making the decision to give blood.

Before giving blood, the donors had to complete a medical history with questions about their current condition, medications, past medical history, and travel. After the questionnaire, some people were turned down because of low iron levels or low weight. These people, although unable to donate their blood, were still given t-shirts to commemorate their enthusiasm.

When potential donors had completed the round of questioning, they sat back down to wait for an open spot. For some, this took a few minutes, but for others, the wait took a good half an hour or more. The wait was well worth it though because, as SGA President David Birkenthal commented, “The blood drive was very helpful to the community and we’re glad to have helped save lives.”

Once they were called, donors waited on the beds for the phlebotomists to locate a vein in order to begin drawing blood.  Donor Maura Pannebecker recalled that “the preparation was nerve-wracking,” but she was able to relax once they started taking her blood. The actual process of drawing blood was different for everyone, but for most people, it took about ten minutes.

After blood was drawn, volunteers were ready to escort donors from the beds to the canteen, where food and drinks were available. Volunteers were prepared for anything, even accompanying donors to the bathroom. In the morning, the SGA had an excess of volunteers in order to ensure that students were safe and comfortable during their recovery. Every donor received a t-shirt…in addition to the pin prick hole in their arm.