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Students give the gift of life

November 6, 2010
Jenn Brookens — Staff Writer

SHERBURN - Martin County West High School's biannual bloodmobile was on course for meeting its regular goal Friday, as students willingly stepped forward to donate the gift of life.

"Our regular goal is 45 units," said Matraca Steen, a National Honor Society member helping coordinate the bloodmobile.

"With 58 appointments, we should get 45 units from that," added Maggie Prunty.

National Honor Society members have helped coordinate the bloodmobile for many years at Martin County West, and the support has only gotten stronger.

"This year, we had lots of interest and we filled up all our appointments," Steen said. "Last year, it was a little more of a struggle to find people."

According to the American Red Cross blood donation Web site, donors must be of good health, at least 17 years old in most states (Minnesota allows 16 years old, with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donating double red (which is double the amount of red blood cells, and the plasma is put back in the donor) men must be at least 5-foot-1 and weigh 130 pounds, while women must be at least 5-foot-5 and weigh 150 pounds. (Other circumstances also may apply, according to the Web site).

"We haven't had a lot of people turned away yet," Steen said. "Things like if they've traveled (out of the country), or don't meet the weight or height requirements, or if they've had tattoos or piercings. Also we've seen people turned away if they don't have enough iron in their blood. People who have colds also don't donate."

Martin County West also had the "double red" donation table set up, and several students were stepping up to the extra donation.

"This is really good to see," said Martin County West nurse Laura Kramer. "The kids are starting young and getting into the habit of donating blood. They go, and then their friends come along, and they also start donating. Then they're used to it. It's a good way for the future, starting them young."



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