Students Donate to Save Lives

By on November 26, 2013

Above is Ephrata senior, Alyssa Rummel, participating in the blood drive recently held at school.

Above is Ephrata senior, Alyssa Rummel, participating in the blood drive recently held at school.

Upon entering the Ephrata High School gym on Oct. 18, student s were greeted by the smell of sterile metal – not sweaty gym clothes – along with the familiar sound of beloved math teacher and student council adviser Bret Marzock welcoming generous donors.

This is the annual Blood Drive held three times a year at Ephrata High School. It is thanks to the coalition of the Student Council and the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank that Ephrata can sponsor this much- needed fundraiser.

Head phlebotomist, Johnny Nguyn, told of the need for blood, “Every three seconds a person in the United States needs blood.”He and his team are the people who go from school to school in our county, collecting the essential blood.

In fact, every year teams like Johnny’s help hospitals transfuse over 120,000 units of blood and blood products.

At Ephrata there are many willing donors who give blood yearly. Math teacher Fred Geyer is one of those donors. “I donate every year. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Even if one cannot donate because of a phobia of needles or veins, there are many other ways to help.

Junior Bree Heagy is one the many people who assists with the drive. She started helping out her freshman year, doing things such as writing passes for the donors, helping people fill out their sign up forms, and comforting the people who are giving blood.

To some people, giving blood is one of the scariest things to do. More people are more afraid of needles than of sharks and this causes them to have a fear known as Trypanophobia or needle fear.

Many people do experience side effects when giving blood.

These include: dizziness, fainting, vomiting, sweating, chills, and stiffness in joints, stress, nausea, convulsions, infection, and a tingling sensation in lips or nose.

These side effects, along with the fear of needles explains why only 5% of the population donates blood. If 10% of the population donated blood then all blood shortages could possibly be eliminated in the near future.

“Every three seconds a person in the United States needs blood.” – Johnny Nguyn

As a phlebotomist, Miranda is one of the people who takes the blood. Doing this kind of job requires training and much practice.

A strong stomach helps, too. Miranda has seen many people vomit or faint. “I’ve literally seen everything,” she says.

Today, donating blood is a near painless experience that saves countless lives. There are many new tests that screen for diseases and each piece of equipment is sterilized and only used once.

Team leader Johnny Nguyn says, “Donating blood is one of the most amazing things on earth.

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