On Friday, Jan. 24, Oswego High School’s student council held the semi-annual blood drive for OHS students and staff to donate blood.
The blood drive has been a planned activity of the Student Council for over five years.
“This is one of our easier to plan events because we’ve done it so many times,” sponsor Ms. Anne Sweeney said.
Since the blood drive has been an ongoing event since before Sweeney became a sponsor, members of the student council know what they need to do.
“It’s standard at this point, we know what we’re doing, we get in to do our jobs and get out, quick and easy,” senior Dillon Neal and student council secretary said.
“We like doing it because it’s an easy way for students to give back to the community,” Sweeney explained. “Every student that donates can save up to three lives.”
“Millions of people need blood transfusions each year. Some may need blood during surgery. Others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components,” Mayo Clinic stated. “You agree to have blood drawn so that it can be given to someone who needs a blood transfusion.”
When donating blood at the school, one of the requirements for students under 18 is to have a parent or guardian sign a permission slip for the student to donate.
One of the first steps for setting up the blood drive was advertising, so people knew about it and would be able to donate.
“We started by making advertisements like posters and handing out information slips,” Neal said.
These posters contain information about the date, time, location, and other important details to know.
“About a week or two leading up to the drive do announcements pretty much every day,” Sweeney said.
A table was set up in the lunchroom for students to sign up; once they were registered, they got a pass to be able to leave class to go donate.
The blood drive is held in the main gym, with the gym divided in half. The front half is the sign-in and information area, and the back half is where the actual donation takes place.
When students show up to donate in the front of the gym, they are given a test or questionnaire to get their basic information, and then a very basic physical is conducted to see if they can donate.
When donated blood every person may act or feel different, although donating blood has many benefits, it’s important that the donor eats beforehand and drinks plenty of water. There were snacks and beverages offered to students after they donated.
Blood donation in 2020 is safe, as sterile needles and equipment is used for each donor.
“Most donors do not experience discomfort after donating you may feel lightheaded, tired, or dizzy after giving blood,” the Cleveland Clinic said.
“A lot of times, especially this time of year, blood banks are low,” Sweeney said. “And Heartland actually gives things such as coupons to those who donate.”If anyone missed the blood drive this year, click here to find a center to donate at.