By Ashley Therrien and Jennifer Gleason

Poland Regional High School

Sixty-seven: that is the number of people who donated blood at Poland Regional High School on February 2. Out of the 67 people 29 were first-time donors. Mr. Rick Kramer ran the blood drive, Poland’s own health teacher and head football coach.

People who donate blood may do it for many reasons. They may have had a loved one who needed blood in the matter of life or death and did not get any, due to a scarce blood supply. So they decide to give blood to make up for the blood their loved one did not receive, and to help others in desperate need of a transfusion. Another reason could be that they just want to donate blood to save others lives. Others may know that if they donate one pint of blood it can save up to eight people, according to Kramer.

Before going to give blood you must meet certain guidelines, such as being over the age of seventeen. You also can’t have a tattoo or piercing that is fairly new, along with many other restrictions. The morning before you give blood you should eat a breakfast that is nutritious because if you don’t you could possibly pass out from lack of nutrition or dehydration. Out of the 67 people who gave blood at PRHS last week only four passed out, probably because of the lack of a nutritious breakfast.

Want to get a sneak preview from the view of a first-time donor? Well, here we go… through the eyes of Ashley Therrien, a senior at Poland Regional High School.

This being my first time giving blood, I was a little nervous as I looked around and saw Mrs. Briggs lying on the table with her eyes closed. I read the guidelines that consisted of four pages and then I went though the process of getting my blood tested for iron, which I barely passed. Then they took my blood pressure and asked my date of birth and social security number. After that I had to fill out a sheet with personal information about my past, for example if anyone in my family has hepatitis. Then I talked to the nurse one last time so she could review my answers with me. Lastly, I had to wait until it was my turn to give blood.

The reality hit me that I was going to give blood and I began to get butterflies in my stomach. The nurse then led me to the table and put an elastic around my arm and pulled out a needle. She asked me to grip a plastic tube so the blood will keep flowing. She then stuck the needle in my arm and I watched the blood flow into the plastic tube. When it was all done I got up and two volunteers helped me to the snack table filled with cookies, crackers, and drinks. I was asked to wait 15 minutes so I could regain energy. In the end, even though it was painful, it was worth it.

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