Club Hosts Second Blood Drive of Year

Organized by Student Council, the second blood drive of the year took place Jan. 23 and collected 134 units of blood. The blood drive is a charity event where students may volunteer to donate a pint of their blood to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center and occurs a total of four times per each school year. Generally speaking, places like high schools are prime locations to host blood drives, given the large number of people available for an extended amount of time.

Students wanting to participate first sign up on an online portal from the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. A volunteer will schedule their donation during a certain class period on the online form. Once accepted, the student is officially eligible to donate blood and will be pulled from class at their requested time.

For the safety of student donors and the beneficiaries, rules and regulations must be in place. First, a donor must be 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, and must weigh at least 110 pounds if 17 and 120 if 16. They must be healthy, well hydrated, and may only donate once per drive.

“The timing of the drives is spaced throughout the year so students can donate each drive,” Student Council Sponsor Leslie Uptain said.

Symptoms after donating blood include feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous after drinking, eating, and resting; developing a raised bump or continuous bleeding at the needle site; or consistent arm pain, numbness, or tingling.

However, there are also benefits of donating blood, including reduced risk of Hemochromatosis and cancer, maintaining a healthy heart and liver, and stimulation of cell production.

Donating blood is a vital way to contribute to the community. A single donation provides different blood components that can save up to three lives. This means that the donations from Canyon alone have the potential to save hundreds.

“We have to collect as many units as possible. People always need blood,” junior Haley Regan said.

A graduation cord of appreciation is given to those who donate six times during their high school career. This cord represents the 18 lives potentially saved by the wearer, and the gratitude of their friends and family.

Those who want to donate to the cause will have one more chance this semester, when the final drive takes place April 23.