Covid-19 has impacted blood drives greatly. Many drives have been cancelled due to their lack of understanding of their available space. This means that the Red Cross is in dire need of blood donations. With approval of the Dickinson County Health Department, Abilene High School will be hosting a blood drive on May 1st from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Now, more than ever, it is important for the student body and the community to get involved by giving blood. Please consider donating or recruiting someone to donate. The Red Cross has put measures in place that will ensure a safe event during the Covid-19 pandemic.
When donators arrive, their temperature will be taken and will be asked about their state of health. Donators will have to pass a pre-screening in order to donate. Waiting area seats and donation beds will be spaced in order to comply with social distancing. AHS science teacher and blood drive director, Molly Burton, explains, “Red Cross has taken the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of donors and workers. Abilene High School has a facility that can accommodate the necessary safety measures.”
Now that you understand the safety precautions being taken by the school and Red Cross, its time to think about the preparations you should make before donating.
PREPARE TO DONATE
In order to donate, their are some requirements. Donators must be at least 16 years of age and fit their height and weight requirements. According to redcrossblood.org, “Females must have a minimum hemoglobin level of 12.5g/dL and males must have a minimum level of 13.0g/dL. A donor’s hemoglobin level cannot be higher than 20.0g/dL to donate.” Those who have had a piercing in the last 12 months with a reused needle will not be allowed to donate. You may donate if you got a tattoo, as long as it was done in a parlor.
Preparing to donate blood is vital. The best way to prepare is to hydrate, eat iron-rich foods, and to get plenty of rest. Taking an iron supplement is a good way to ensure iron levels are sufficient to donate. Here are some foods to consider eating, according to healthline.com:
1. Meats, such as beef, lamb, ham, pork, and veal
2. Poultry, such as as chicken and turkey
3. Fish and shellfish, such as tuna, shrimp, clams, haddock, and mackerel
Recovering from donating blood is similar to the preparation. Continue to hydrate and take in nutritious foods. It takes the body a couple of weeks to recoup the amount of blood taken. The change in volume of fluids may cause donators to feel light-headed, so heavy lifting should be refrained from for a few hours and possibly the rest of the day.
Click here or go to redcrossblood.org in order to find Abilene’s blood drive. Type in the zip code 67410 and choose Abilene High School. Then, you can schedule the time you want to donate! Thank you for any support you can provide the drive. Beth Holmes, AHS senior, will be the beneficiary of this year’s Red Cross scholarship. The more pints we collect, the bigger her scholarship.
Please consider donating if you are able to. It is such an important time to donate, as Red Cross is having shortages in blood. Thank you!
All photos were taken by Emilee Dobbs and Aveth Elledge.