HOSA blood drive draws in record number of participants

Coppell+High+School+junior+Gillian+Pernot+gets+her+blood+drawn+during+second+period+in+the+small+gym+on+Friday.+Students+and+faculty+were+able+to+sign+up+to+donate+blood+through+the+HOSA+blood+drive+today.
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HOSA blood drive draws in record number of participants

Coppell High School junior Gillian Pernot gets her blood drawn during second period in the small gym on Friday. Students and faculty were able to sign up to donate blood through the HOSA blood drive today.

Coppell High School junior Gillian Pernot gets her blood drawn during second period in the small gym on Friday. Students and faculty were able to sign up to donate blood through the HOSA blood drive today.

Charlotte Vanyo

Coppell High School junior Gillian Pernot gets her blood drawn during second period in the small gym on Friday. Students and faculty were able to sign up to donate blood through the HOSA blood drive today.

Charlotte Vanyo

Charlotte Vanyo

Coppell High School junior Gillian Pernot gets her blood drawn during second period in the small gym on Friday. Students and faculty were able to sign up to donate blood through the HOSA blood drive today.

Sydney Rowe, Staff Writer/Photographer

Today, the Coppell High School small gym is filled with donors as students and administrators take time to give blood. Coppell HOSA-Future Health Professionals hold this annual event to raise awareness and encourage students to donate blood.

The participation of the event has increased from past years, as 184 donors signed up and more have shown interest in donating.

“Our total whole-blood donation goal is around 150 units,” HOSA adviser and health science teacher Suzanne Paylor said. “We hit our goal on our sign-up slots, we maxed out. This is the first year we’ve had a wait-list, which is huge.”

The event is held throughout the entire school day. This has proven to be more effective than other time slots after or before school or over the weekend. 

“We hold this during the school day so we can get [students] to donate, when we do Saturdays we don’t have as many people come,” Paylor said. “This gives teenagers an opportunity to donate for the first time. They seem to be way more comfortable to do it surrounded by the people they know.”

Before giving blood, donors must eat, have their pulse and temperature taken and test their blood pressure. The nurses also prick a finger to take a small sample of blood.

“First we were given a link to sign up, then we come and fill out a questionnaire about health and lifestyle,” Coppell High School senior Alyssa Roemer said. “Once finishing blood pressure and pricking your finger, a nurse will take you over to where you donate blood, they stick a needle in your arm and it takes about 15 minutes.”

HOSA stresses the importance of donating blood, especially after many recent disasters that have occurred around the world. Many people are physically able to give blood, but the population that actually donates is very low.

“Not a lot of people donate blood,” Paidesetty said. “Thirty-eight percent of the population is eligible to donate blood but less than four percent actually donate.”

The club is focusing on getting students to begin donating blood early. Roemer donated for the first time at the HOSA blood drive and claims she will continue to do so after participating today.

“I’ve always wanted to donate blood because I’m also an organ donor,” Roemer said. “I’m sure I’m going to donate in my own time next year.”

Follow Sydney on Twitter @syd218

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