Anomaly occurs during OHS blood drive

On Dec. 2., students have the opportunity to donate blood as long as they fall within the necessary requirements, but irregularities can still occur.


Red Cross employee, Lorenza Holmes draws blood from a student. Holmes has been working with the Red Cross for nine years.

Jessica Louis, Staff Writer

The healthcare organization, HOSA, headed by Heidi Bartlett, will be collaborating with the American Red Cross for Ola’s 9th annual blood drive on Dec. 2.

The Blood Drive is a great opportunity for students and teachers to save live while in the comfort of their own school. The blood drive is convenient for donors as well as those who need the blood.

From sickle cell patients to cancer patients and car accident victims, every drop of blood makes a world of difference to those who need it.

But though it may be thrilling to help someone in need, one must me eligible to donate blood for the sake of their own health.

In order to give blood, the donor has to be at least 110 pounds and 16 years of age minimum. Though blood donation is a relatively safe and sterile process, specific guidelines are set in place so that side effects like dizziness and  lightheadedness remains at a minimum.

“One time I gave blood I was so lightheaded. I thought I was going to pass out,” Sasha Aldagene, senior, said.

One student, however, wasn’t so lucky. Caroline Boutwell, senior, experienced extreme side effects after donating blood at the school’s blood drive last year. The cause of the incident was Boutwell’s weight as well as her empty stomach.

“Well I knew, going into it, that I was the minimum weight requirement for my height. So they were like ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ and I was like ‘ yea, sure, whatever,” Boutwell said.

The blood drawing process went smoothly for Boutwell until she became sick.

“Afterwards, I was perfectly fine. Cassie Mills, she was one of the HOSA people that helped me… she was helping me to the bathroom because I wanted to change- then all of a sudden, my hearing went out and my vision went out and then I collapsed,” Boutwell said.

Boutwell later fainted after getting her blood drawn, followed by a seizure.

“It was… it was really scary. They [additional volunteers] had to like lift her up and they were trying to call her name, snapping at her,” Mills said.

Despite this, she does not regret donating blood that day.

“I want to give blood again but they recommend me gaining quite a few pounds. Maybe in the spring,” Boutwell said.

This is not to deter people from giving blood. As long as the donor is 110 pounds and above, 16 years or older, and in good health, the blood drive is a great opportunity to save a life. It is also recommended that the donor eats and drinks enough fluids before and after blood donation.

“I helped save a life. That’s cool. And it’s an awesome opportunity to ave here. Just make sure you follow the rules a lot,” Boutwell said

The next blood drive will be be held next year. The exact date is still in consideration.

Even if one doesn’t quite meet the requirements to donate blood, the Red Cross also accepts financial donations to ensure an ongoing blood supply and provide additional support.