A Bloody Good Time: Conestoga hosts annual blood drive

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By Tory Dubendorf, Guest Reporter

Hopes ran high on Feb. 29 as Conestoga High School hosted its annual blood drive. Students and teachers alike came to the large gym to give back to the community.

Run by the American Red Cross, the non-profit organization hoped to collect 85 units of blood, which requires about 100 donations according to Red Cross associate Heather Dipietro. She also said the blood drives were not only held in Conestoga but in other areas as well.

“We (the Red Cross) do all the Philadelphia schools. We do all of New Jersey, from tip to tip, and then we do the nine counties in Pennsylvania,” Dipietro said.

In order for students to donate, they must be healthy, aged 17 and weigh 110 pounds or more. These eligibility requirements are set to prevent symptoms after donating blood. Dipietro explains the common symptoms that can appear.

“Some feel perfectly fine after, some get a little lightheaded, some get a little dizzy,” Dipietro said. “It depends if they ate breakfast or lunch, depending on what time they donate.”

After the donation process, there are four specific components that can be taken out of blood: red blood cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. According to the American Red Cross, two or three of these factors are made from one pint of given blood. As a result, a pint of blood has the ability to save about three lives.

Throughout the blood drive, students also had the opportunity to witness the blood donation process. Junior Michael DuTot explained how he felt before donating.

“I was a little nervous. It was my second time donating, but I was still nervous just sitting on the table,” DuTot said.

Sophomore Kent Hjelm was more than happy to donate for the wellbeing of others.

“You can feel like you’re making a difference in the world and saving lives,” Hjelm said.