Decatur gives blood to help save lives

Jamie Adams , Staff Writer

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types to give now and to help save lives. Stephen Decatur High School’s Key Club answered this call by hosting its annual blood drive on Nov. 19. This blood drive is vital because of the national shortage, making it necessary for those who can contribute to come forward and donate. This is the first drive of the school year and continues to be a success with many students and staff participating.  

After donating blood, senior Lauren Kennard stated, “I felt good knowing that it was for a great cause and the process of donating is so simple, so why not.” Kennard tries to donate blood twice a year, “…because I know that many people are in need,” she stated. 

Decatur’s Key Club is partnered with The Red Cross, making the school able to host this event twice a year which is located in Decatur’s gymnasium. This drive is open to students and staff whom wish to contribute. Vice Principal, Trevor Hill, was the first donator of the day and stated that he donates blood, “because it helps other people that are in need, and since I have a rare blood type, I feel it is necessary for me to donate.” Type O blood is extremely uncommon, so the supply is very scarce, making eligible donors with that blood type needed.  

The cause of this shortage is due to the rising number of complex procedures such as chemotherapy, organ transplants, and heart surgeries that require large amounts of blood. With less and less donations of blood each year, this results in an overall national shortage. A conflict with the process of donating blood is that it only remains viable for transfusion up to 42 days. A transfusion is the process of transferring blood, or blood products into the circulatory system of a person. This means that without a constant number of donors, the blood supply begins to lessen, essentially resulting in the lack of usable blood.  

This problem does not just remain in the United States, blood shortages have become a pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, “more than half of the 108 million blood donations collected worldwide every year come from developed countries where only 18 percent of the world’s population lives, leaving 82 percent of the world with a lack of blood they may need for these medical treatments.” Donations all over the world are vital and can help save lives both nationally and internationally.  

Many people are not able to donate blood due to various conditions; which is also a big reason for the shortage. Pregnancy and recent childbirth rule one out as a blood donor. The mother and the baby may be at risk for danger if blood is taken. Another reason is an iron deficiency, this requirement is for the safety of the donor in order to ensure that their blood iron level remains in the healthy range for an adult. A person can also not donate blood while they are taking antibiotics. This is due to the presence of the illness or infection requiring the antibiotic, which could be transmitted through the blood. 

Taking 15 minutes to donate one pint of blood, can save up to three lives. The donating process is simple and beneficial. For more information on participating and giving blood, visit and read our other article relating to the Blood Drive as well.