The annual blood donations were held at Macleans College on the 9th and 10th of April, with many people volunteering to give blood.
Blood bank. The peculiar human institution of giving up your own blood, willingly, in order to potentially save another’s life. If you think about it, the actual process of giving blood to the Blood Bank is extremely odd. Voluntarily sticking a needle into your arm and allowing that juicy haemoglobin to flow through a tube into a reservoir isn’t exactly a very appealing thought to most.
However, that didn’t stop the fantastic turnout this week at the Blood Drive. More than a hundred people flowed into the gymnasium over the two days to sit awkwardly in squeaky chairs, trying to ignore the tube sticking out of their arms.
In all seriousness though, the contribution Macleans has made over the past years to the blood bank is truly staggering, and definitely something for us to be proud of. Schools can be known for good grades, drama, music, sports and so on, but saving lives is on an entirely different level.
NZ Blood uses the donated blood for all sorts of medical purposes: cancer patients, surgery patients, burn victims, shock treatment, assisting those with bleeding disorders and those with defective immune systems. A whopping 24% of all blood donations go straight to cancer patients, out of the 42,000 New Zealanders who need to be treated with blood each year.
Luckily, out of a single blood donation, up to three lives can be saved. Three lives! Maybe the blood we donated saved a child from not having a parent anymore, or saved a child from never living and growing up. That is something to be proud of.
However, even with all of this enthusiasm over giving blood, there are still some daunting figures to be aware of. NZ Blood requires 3,000 donations of blood every single week in order to keep up with demand, and only about 4% of the New Zealand population currently donates. While this is enough to sustain supply at current levels, if enthusiasm dwindles, there may be a blood shortage and lives will be needlessly lost.
So, if you didn’t give blood because you are afraid of needles, consider getting past that fear and try and part next year, or even head down to the closest donor centre to you (located here) and give some blood as soon as possible. Here are some stories to encourage you along the way.
In conclusion, the blood drive has been a massive success, and we should feel proud that we have taken the donations so seriously. Hundreds of lives were saved over the past few days, so give yourselves a pat on the back.
Article by Andrew Cannon. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.