Roll up your
Eight minutes can save a life, and help earn a scholarship
eight minutes it takes to donate a unit of blood could help a
HFM BOCES student pursue a career in health care.
The American Red Cross Blood Drive, scheduled for Friday, Oct.
24, from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the HFM BOCES gymnasium, can
save lives and help earn a Red Cross High School Scholarship
Award for a HFM BOCES student.
The Red Cross scholarship, worth $200-$700, is awarded to a
student from the health careers program who is pursuing a career
in health care and continuing post-secondary studies. Last
year’s recipient was Amy Liszewski, an Amsterdam High School
senior in the New Visions Health program.
HFM BOCES qualifies for the scholarship by hosting at least two
blood drives during the year, and reaching a 25 percent student
participation level. The number of blood drives and
participation determines the amount of the scholarship.
Donating blood is quick, easy and safe. Anyone at least 17 years
of age and weighing more than 117 pounds is eligible to donate.
After a Red Cross representative leads a potential donor through
a health history screening, the donor is directed to a bed,
where another Red Cross technician uses a new, sterile needle to
collect a unit of whole blood. The actual donation takes about
In the time it takes to read this story, 180 Americans will need
a transfusion of blood.
Donated blood will help accident victims, surgery patients,
cancer patients, bone marrow transplant recipients, burn
victims, and people suffering shock or dehydration or anyone
else needing a blood transfusion, explained BOCES nurse Kim
“We are looking for more people, especially for certain,
hard-to-find blood types,” said Red Cross Supervisor Renie Ball.
“And we will take as much O-positive blood as we can get.”
O-positive blood is sometimes called the “universal donor”
because it is a common type and can be safely given to a person
with any other positive blood type.
New technology allows certain donors to give double the amount
of red blood cells in a single visit. Called “Double Red,” the
automated system is designed to safely separate blood into red
blood cells and plasma as it's being donated. The plasma and
other components, along with a unit of saline, are returned to
the donor, while twice the amount of red cells is collected than
from a standard whole blood donation.
“The process does take longer, and there are additional
requirements to be eligible,” said Ball. “But the results are
two units of red cells from one donor, which are typically
easier for a body to accept during a transfusion.”
The Red Cross is especially grateful for student donors. Some
statistics show that nearly 25 percent of blood donations come
from high school and college donors.
“We cannot say thank you enough times to the people that
donate,” said Ball.
Anyone interested in donating blood should contact HFM BOCES
nurse Kim Bursese at 736-4681, ext. 4656 to make an appointment.