In April 28th, Deerfield hosted its second blood drive of the year. “This blood drive was much better than the fall,” said Francoise Ellis, who oversaw the event. “More people signed up this spring. We had about 50 people sign up, with a few walk-ons, but we were able to get 34 pints, which helps about 100 people.” The blood collected will be used to help people in Massachusetts.
The blood drive was held in the East Gym, which was transformed into a hospital-like setting. Nurses from the Red Cross worked alongside Deerfield Students, passing out drinks and catering to the donors. In addition to the question and answer forms each participant filled out, the nurses conducted brief physicals before every donation. Participants were asked about their medical history, and even tested for aids. After that, the nurses drew a pint of blood.
Many students gave blood for the first time. Klyn Jones ’16 felt that the process was relatively painless: “They gave you a stress ball. I felt a little dizzy but I drank some water, and they had some snacks there.” Others had a different experience. “It was the first time I gave blood and I actually stood up and remember feeling really dizzy and then I fainted,” said Jackie Dowling ’14. It is not uncommon for donors to faint, especially if it is their first time giving blood.
While everyone was encouraged to donate, stringent requirements turned away a few hopeful donors. These requirements included height, weight and past travel experiences.
“They wouldn’t let people from Asia donate blood because there is a risk you have some kind of contagious disease,” said Hattie Wang ’16, who was turned away from the event. “I feel like on one hand it ensures that the blood they get is really good quality, but on the other hand it discourages a lot of people who want to donate.”
Many students wished they had known of these restrictions prior to the event. “It would have been way more helpful if they had let everyone know of the limitations and restrictions beforehand,” said Saoirse Kennedy-Hill ’16, who could not participate due to recent travels.
Although not everyone was able to give blood, the event turned out to be a success, thanks in part to the new online sign-up forms. Francoise Ellis credits Izzy Tang for her hard work organizing the drive: “Izzy did an incredible job, especially putting the signing-in online, and getting it on the Bulletin.”
Next year’s event is currently being planned: “We are already looking at the dates for the school year 2014-2015!” Izzy Tang exclaimed.