Blood Drives Vital to Society


Damien Burriss, Creative Contributor

“Multiple gun shots to the abdomen,” the paramedic tells the staff.

“Oh shoot!” the doctor screams. Your blood is spurting out of you like a busted fire-hydrant, you’re getting light-headed, you begin to feel really fatigued, you’re going into hypoglycemic shock! “This man needs blood right now! We need blood type A, hurry hurry!” As  you’re about to go unconscious due to massive blood loss, the doctors are saving your life using someone else’s blood that was donated to help you get through this very death defying moment.

Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and education in the United States. Any person between 18 and 60 years of age can safely donate one unit of blood. That is about 1 ½ cups of blood every 3 months. Roughly 40,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States, which is a massive number. Approximately 1 out of every 7 people entering the hospital needs blood transfusions. Just 1 donation has the potential to save as many as 3 lives. People hold back from donating blood because they often are afraid of needles, or are very squeamish when they come onto direct contact blood, sometimes all it takes is seeing the blood and it can go bad. The person assisting you when you’re in the process of donating blood will hand you something squishy so you could squeeze and pump blood into your arm.

Sahuaro hosted another blood drive on March 2 in the practice gym from 8:30 AM -1:00 PM. This event is hosted by the American Red Cross and  everyone who donates received a free shirt. I’ve asked around and a student at Tucson High school, Aldo Ramirez (18), told me, “Hey man, I feel like I’m a good person but giving blood is weird.” I walked around second lunch at Sahuaro High.  Donors gave a variety of responses. One individual told me that she donates whenever she can, “It’s for a really good cause, I mean saving lives is an honor, and I feel special to be playing my part!” Another kid told me, “DONATE BLOOD! DONATE BLOOD! DONATE BLOOD!” Another one, “Nope, we were born with our own blood and I’ll be dying with my own blood.”

Some states might allow donation by 16-year-olds with a signed parental consent form. And donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. You cannot donate blood if you have HIV virus or any other type of blood borne illness. Can I give blood if I have been drinking or doing illegal substances? Red Cross does not encourage the use of controlled substances, marijuana, or alcohol use, but does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you’re feeling 110% healthy. But if you have ever in your life injected illegal substances, you cannot give blood at any point.

Donating blood is a beautiful  thing, you could save someone’s life that might have gotten into a bad accident or another tragic event. If you think about it, you might even be able to save your own life with the blood that YOU donated. It’s about time we start trying to make a difference in this world; donating blood to help others is just one step, stop being a wimp and donate. Besides it’s a win/win situation, you help others and receive a cookie almost every time.