by Jonathan Weaver
According to American Red Cross statistics, more than 100 people could benefit from a blood drive that was held at Ford City Junior-Senior High School last week.
The blood drive was held from 8AM-1PM April 16 at the school.
Student Council Vice-President Yuri Panchik of Worthington chaired the blood drive, one of the current student council’s last projects during the 2013-14 school year. Panchik and Student Council President Sam Piper of Elderton estimated more than 30 students and teachers donated at the annual event.
“I think a lot of people wanted to reach out to the community and the blood drive was an opportunity to do this – especially since there’s always a need for blood and people to donate,” Panchik said. “It (was) a great way for students to get involved.
“It wasn’t about us,” Piper added. “We were part of something bigger – saving lives.”
Blood was delivered to a Red Cross blood component laboratory for processing into several components, such as the red blood cells, plasma and platelets. A single blood donation may help up to three different people.
It was the first time Panchik – a junior – donated.
“This was my first time giving. I thought it’d be a lot worse than it was – it actually turned out to be a pretty-gratifying experience, I think,” Panchik said.
Ford City Nurse Bishop performed pre-screenings on those donating blood to make sure all donors were healthy, Piper said. Students had to be at least 16 years old to donate, and those who were 16 years of age needed signed parental consent.
Student Council Advisor Cathy Rudosky coordinated efforts with the American Red Cross while Panchik helped with student registration. Students signed up a maximum of three weeks before the actual event.
According to the American Red Cross information handouts, plasma from your donation is replaced within a day’s time. Red cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement. At least eight weeks are required between whole blood donations.
The American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, serves hospitals, patients and donors in a 100-county area in six states: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as supporting blood needs experienced by patients elsewhere in hospitals served through Red Cross Blood Services; though local needs are always met first.
In 2011, that accounted for more than 40 percent of the United States’ blood needs to about 3,000 medical centers, hospitals and transfusion centers across the country and more than 90 in this six-state region.
Student Council officer elections will be held within the school in a few weeks, but Piper also said a membership drive is underway to recruit new student leaders for the 2014-15 school year.
Panchik is planning to be one of those running for the Student Council presidency.