COVID-19 has created issues in hospitals all over. Currently, MA hospitals are experiencing a blood shortage, meaning patients in need of blood do not have access to it due to the national blood shortage
On Friday, Jan. 28, the HOSA club is hosting an annual blood drive.
“With just a little blood, a life can be saved, and Westford Academy has given the high school students at Westford the great opportunity to save a life,” Blood drive coordinator Shreya Navuduri said.
For this event, HOSA is looking for volunteers of anyone who is sixteen years of age or older to join them in the flag lobby at Westford Academy to donate blood. However, although sixteen-year-olds can donate, they will need a parent or guardian to sign a permission slip for safety reasons. If people are above the age of 16 then they not required to have a parent or guardian.
Navuduri shared a story of a girl named Sophie, who needed a heart transplant when she was little. Over fifty people donated blood who matched her type, and she finally was able to get the transplant she needed. Now, Sophie is celebrating her fourth birthday and doing well.
“Many people donate blood not knowing who it would go to. The blood that has been collected, tested, and typed will save the lives of people like Sophie,” Navuduri said.
Each person who donates can save up to three people’s lives and make a serious difference.
Before the event, people should be hydrated and have eaten to prevent possible dizziness. On the day of the event, registered people can enter the flag lobby at their allotted time and fill out all of the required forms. Then, people can head outside the school and go to the Massachusetts General Hospital bloodmobile.
In the bloodmobile, nurses will be working with donors to give blood. Once they have given their blood people should be drinking water, eating snacks, and relaxing in the flag lobby. After about 10 minutes, people are free to go.
“Mass General Hospital does have certain COVID-19 protocols. Before the donor goes into the bloodmobile they check their temperature and make sure they have hand sanitizer.” Navuduri said, “Everyone must wear a mask given to you by the Mass General Hospital during the time of the donation as well.”
Currently, the blood drive has thirty-five sign-ups and there are twenty-three spots left.
“Any blood type can donate, and there is no specific blood type that we need more of. Any blood type is a necessity right now,” Navuduri said.
Volunteers can sign up in the WA cafeteria durning lunches or on the @wa_blood_drive bio where there is a link. HOSA is collecting sign-ups until next Wednesday, January 26th.
“Please spread the word and raise awareness of the current shortage in blood donors!” HOSA Treasurer Finney said.