AT hosted its annual blood drive on Oct. 12, giving students and staff an opportunity to save lives and medical students an opportunity to gain experience in the field.
The event drew in over 75 brave donors, including teachers, upperclassmen, and members of the community. One donor, AT senior Sara Bojczuk, said her choice to donate was a reuslt of her desire to give back.
“I chose to donate blood because I wanted to give back to society somehow. It’s honestly a great feeling knowing that donating my blood helped save someone’s life. I was elated,” she said.
Not only was Bojczuk a donor, but also a helper. As a student taking AT’s medical careers class, she was given the opportunity, along with several other students, to assist donors and observe the clinic, gaining her valuable experience in the field.
One student helper, senior Jazmin Martinez, felt her time helping was an oppotunityOne donor in particular, AT senior Sara Bojczuk, attributed her decision to donate to her desire to give back.
“I chose to donate blood because I wanted to contribute to society somehow.It’s honestly a great feeling knowing that donating my blood helped save someone’s life. I was elated,” she said.
In addition to being a donor, Bojczuk, along with several other AT students, was given the opportunity to help out at the clinic as a part of a medical careers class. Students taking the class were able to direct donors, provide assistance to those who had finished their donation, and observe, giving them some experience working in the field.
One medical student, AT senior Jazmin Martinez, found the experience particularly impactful.
“I have never been to a blood drive before,” said Martinez. “I was so happy that I got to help out at something that is so vital for communities. I really understand now why the ladies here have volunteered for several years.”
The consequences of Blazers’ blood will be felt heavily. According to Community Blood Center, about one of every seven people who enter a hospital end up needing blood. One pint, which is equal to one donation, can save up to three of these people’s lives.
The blood drive was made even more impactful due to the blood shortage Illinois is currently facing. According to several blood donation centers such as Versiti Blood center of Illinois, less than a day’s supply of blood is available on any given day. While 36 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent does annually.
Martinez said that she would recommend giving blood because of the monumental impact it can have.
“Blood donors are super important because someone will receive the help they desperately need. You donate blood so it’s available for a patient who needs it. When you donate, you are making a difference,” she said.
This difference is especially prominent for donors with type O blood. According to Dr. Kevin ha of Versiti, this type of blood is where donation centers are most seeing a shortfall.
Although giving blood can have life saving impacts, it can also be extremely taxing or difficult. During AT’s drive, some donors passed out or became temporarily sick.
Bojczuk stressed that it is okay to say no to donation.
“Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone,” she said. “If you have a tendency to pass out, have low iron levels, or have a fear of needles, I would probably advise not to donate blood.”
For those planning to donate blood and those who are unsure, Bojczuk described the process to be simple.
“It only takes about 10 minutes of your time and it’s almost completely painless. Essentially, 10 minutes of your time saves three people’s lives,which is huge,” she said.