STUCO hosts annual Red Cross Blood Drive

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Shannon Worley

Each year, Student Council (STUCO) hosts a blood drive in the back gym of Lafayette.

Cece Beckmann and Makayla Archambeault

On Friday, Feb. 12, during the Staff Professional Development day, during which students will not attend school, Lafayette Student Council (STUCO) will be hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Back Gym at LHS.

Everyone at Lafayette, including students and staff, was sent a link at the beginning of the month to a Google Form to sign up for a time slot.

STUCO sponsor David Choate said, “[As of Feb. 2], we have 20 donors scheduled and are hoping to get 50 donations.”

In order to give blood, the donor must arrive during their designated time slot with a form of identification and a mask. Students 17 years of age or older are permitted to give blood without parental consent, however, those under 17 must provide a signed consent form.

The American Red Cross’s general requirements for donating blood are that the donor “be in good general health and feeling well, weigh at least 110 pounds and have not donated blood in the last 56 days,” according to their website. For a full list of eligibility requirements, click here.

In a statement on redcross.org, Senior Vice President of Donor Services Paul Sullivan said, “It’s important for people to donate regularly, so we are prepared for when severe weather does arrive. That is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when we are also struggling with other challenges.”

Participants have also been encouraged to drink plenty of water before their donation slot and some have been advised to take iron supplements afterward as a means of building up the iron that is lost during the donation process. For more information on iron loss and how to prevent side effects, click here.

As an incentive to participate in the event, The American Red Cross is also offering a free COVID-19 antibody test for anyone who donates blood. The test results will be available to the participant within a week of donating. In addition to this, STUCO has been working diligently to get as many participants as possible for this year’s Blood Drive.

STUCO sponsor Amy White said, “Members of [STUCO] were also asked to encourage their friends to donate blood as well.” On the sign-up Google Form, participants are asked to indicate whether or not a STUCO member encouraged them to participate.

The Red Cross reports that the blood donated goes towards the supply of blood available to help patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, trauma or surgery, burns and chronic diseases to name a few. Any leftover blood the Red Cross collects goes towards research “on ways to increase the safety of the blood supply,” according to their consent form.