Blood was oozing through the tube. Ounce by ounce senior Andrew Beain began to feel more and more faint. Right after he finished giving blood, he began to lose his vision. “I feel kind of light-headed,” he said to the nurse. Before she could react, he was already falling backwards.
“I did not eat breakfast this morning, and it was my first time giving blood,” Beain said. Even though Beain fainted, he still plans on donating more blood in the future.
Beain as well as other JC students participated in the biannual JC blood drive, held all day on March 14 in the upper gym.
Social studies teacher Rodney Johnson coordinates two blood drives a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.
In order to give blood, students must have parents’ consent, be 16 years old and 110 pounds, and moderately healthy. Additionally, student athletes that are in season could not participate in the donation.
“I thought giving blood was really cool. All people, even those who didn’t go to our school were able to come and donate to a great cause,” junior April Moscati said.
The blood donation process involves four steps: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation, and refreshments.
“You show up [to the blood drive], and they do a personal history check to make sure you do not have any records of anything that could disqualify you from giving blood. Once they get your personal history, they give you a basic examination, and take a sample of your blood. Once you do that, they get you to a chair and the donation itself takes 20 to 30 minutes,” Johnson said.
According to American Red Cross, “every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.”
“[The blood from the blood drive] goes all over the Baltimore metro area and beyond if there is a crisis such as a hurricane or earthquake, but most of the time it stays in the Baltimore metro area,” Johnson said.
According to Moscati, “I found the donation very rewarding because everyone needs blood, there is always someone who needs it, and so by donating I am helping to save a life.”
Meredith Haggerty is an In-Depth Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.