By Sierra Dennison
Needles, nurses, and blood can be a scary sight to some, but walking into the old gym January 8th was a whole different feeling. It was a feeling of hope and saving lives.
Wyatt Franks, a senior and blood drive coordinator for Red Lion Area Senior High School, meets with the Senior Account Executive Beverly Stambaugh from Red Cross to start the process for setting up the blood drive the school holds. They meet about six months before to schedule a date, and it snowballs from there.
Beverly Stambaugh informed the Leonid that the Red Cross is based in Baltimore and covers everywhere from the York Adams area through parts of Virginia, including most of Maryland. She trains on how to recruit donors and the basic forming steps. Then right before the drive she meets with the coordinator, to get numbers of donors so they can determine how many supplies are required.
The trucks are then pre-packed and the crew is assigned to where they will be receiving blood. Red Lion’s goal was 63, and it came in just short with 59 donors. Each pint of blood is labeled and kept chilled in a cooler.
From there, it is sent out. Little vials of blood are sent across the country to be tested. The second the blood is cleared from diseases it is sent to local hospitals.They separate the blood into platelets, plasma, and red cells while they are waiting to be sent out.
Beverly Stambaugh said, “It’s the donors, without donors we have nothing. They save lives.” Even though she runs a good bit of the show in local areas, she also gives blood six times a year.
Even Fanks, the Red Lion Area Senior High School coordinator, donates. However, he does not donate just whole blood, but double reds as well. The donor gets hooked up to a machine, and it allows the donor to donate 2 bags of red cells safely. This is accomplished by putting the plasma back into the body.
“It’s a warm and cold sensation, but it feels fine. I keep in mind this saves lives.” said Wyatt Franks.
Donating whole or double red can make a huge difference. There will be another blood drive in May. The next one will be ran by a freshman named Neil Nicholson. Wyatt Franks has a binder for future coordinators for step by step directions.
Donors are eligible if they are 16 years of age and have a parent consent form signed. Without a consent form, you cannot give. It is important to also note that iron levels need to be high enough to donate blood, and ways to do this is given when donors sign up. If you are interested in donating feel free to see Wyatt Franks or Neil Nicholson for more information.