Students Donate Blood


Emily Cape

Corey Carlin (‘15) is one of the brave individuals who underwent the double cell blood donation for the Red Cross Blood Drive at Brookfield Central High School.

Brookfield Central High School held its first American Red Cross blood drive of the 2014-2015 school year Sept. 19. Many students and staff had the opportunity to donate blood or to volunteer at the event through Key Club. To donate, one must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with parent permission) and meet weight requirements. The donor must also bring two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license and a student ID card, and preferably a list of medications. Each donation can save up to three lives.
Two types of blood donations were offered, whole blood donations and double red cell donations. Whole blood donations are the most common and only take about eight minutes. About a pint of blood is given, spun in centrifuges to separate the blood into transfusable components, such as red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Then it is tested, stored, and sent out to hospitals. Whole blood donators can donate every 56 days. Maddie Palzewicz (’15), a whole blood donator, said, “I have donated before, and when I found out I was O negative, I felt I should donate again to save lives.” She also commented that the needle “hurts a little at first but then it goes away and feels fine.” Palzewicz plans to donate again.
Another type of donation is the double red cell donation. In this donation, a special machine safely collects two units of red blood cells and returns the plasma and platelets back into the same arm. Because the plasma, platelets, and some saline are returned back to the body, the donator may feel less dehydrated after donating. This donation method is ideal for types O, A negative, and B negative donors. A different set of requirements exist for double donators. A male double donator must be at least 5 feet 1 inch and weigh at least 130 pounds while a female must be at least 5 feet 6 inches and weigh at least 150 pounds. The donating process takes about 40 minutes.