Giving Blood at Waterford High


Elise Tuckwood

On November 14, Waterford High School partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive. Students ages 17 and up, as well as teachers, were able to take time out of their day to donate blood. The drive was organized by the Key Club, led by Mr. Ryan. There were 38 people scheduled to donate, not including any walk-ins. With each individual giving around a pint of blood, this is a huge donation to the Red Cross.


The process of donating starts with a pin prick in the finger, a blood pressure reading, and a seemingly endless list of questions. All of these are measures put in place to ensure the donor stays healthy, as well as ensuring that the blood is safe to be shared. Soon after this process, the donor is guided to the black beds where they’re asked to extend their arm and lie down. Once the needle is put in place, the donor’s only job is to relax and squeeze a little stress ball. The needle is pulled out once the collection bag is full, and the donor is brought to a table where there are plenty of sugary snacks to replenish their blood sugar levels. If there are no signs of dizziness, they’re able to get back to class. Overall, it’s a relatively easy process. 


Although it may not seem it, this simple little process is vital to making a positive impact on the world. Mr. Ryan, advisor to the key club, says that for those who are able, “it doesn’t cost anything to give and you have extra to give,” it’s an easy way to “give back to the people and their families that need it.” There are two general uses for the donated blood: blood transfusions and research studies. Blood transfusions are important for any number of reasons, natural disasters, medical procedures, and man-made conflict. Although not as well known, blood donated to the Red Cross is also used in research studies. These studies are such an integral part of donating; donors are required to give consent to partake in the study in order to follow through with the donation.


If you missed the November drive, don’t worry. The Key Club has two more Blood Drives planned, one soon after midterm season in January and another in May. Students who are over 17 years old and are generally healthy are able to donate. A more comprehensive list of eligibility can be found at the Red Cross website, www.