Every year, HOSA- Health Occupation Students of America hosts three blood drives. This year, there has been a critical national blood shortage and Edison students have encouraged many to donate gathering a total of 68 pints of blood.
What can one do to be eligible to donate? It is apparent that while many are eager to lend a hand, or a pint, students are being disqualified from donating due to circumstances of which they were previously unaware.
Zannatul Ahmed, a senior that helped with the blood drive at Edison, stated, “many kids come to the blood drive as I help out and end up not donating because they are constantly rejected. Even after being rejected once, they still get rejected again because they do nothing.”
Joshua Rosario, senior, describes his experience by stating, “donating blood showed that I had control to positively affect my community and give to people in need. Donating blood can help save lives which falls under my field of interest. It doesn’t affect or hurt me by donating but it is life changing for someone else so why not donate.”
Mariesa Budhai, senior, enrolled in the medical assistant program gave her feed back on the blood drive. Rejection didn’t stop her from striving.“When I was first rejected, I felt upset, but I was never discouraged. I felt as if the reasons for me being denied were fixable and that I could manage to work my way up into being accepted. I knew the difference it would make and how much my pint of blood could do for people. So I started taking iron supplements every day and tried to gain more weight. Because I was rejected twice, I was extremely driven to give blood and the third time, when I made it, it actually made me feel proud. It makes me a lot more courageous because it helped me prove to myself that anything is possible if I try hard enough.”
Just 2% in our community donate and every 2 seconds someone is in need of blood. In order to donate, one must be 16 years of age or older, weighing at least 110 pounds. One can donate every 56 days and if they are 16, they must have a parental consent form. There are certain restrictions that one should know when signing up to donate. Individuals are rejected often because of where they’ve traveled to, new piercings and new tattoos. One must wait one year in order to donate after a new piercing or tattoo. If traveling to an area of the world where malaria is a problem, one must wait twelve months before donating.
Anemia has been one of the highest causes of rejection at the blood drive every year. Students who have been rejected are often left clueless on what to do. Anemia is a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Anemia does have solutions and ways to help aid with the issue. For instance, one can eat iron rich foods and if that doesn’t help, they may take iron supplements. They should be aware that supplements do have side effects.
The blood shortage can be solved if we all take a step forward. Together we can make it happen.