The RFH Annual Blood Drive Saves 219 Lives

by Emily

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On February 25, Rumson Fair Haven High School held its annual blood drive. In the week leading up to the drive, students and staff members could make an appointment to give blood during lunch periods or in the nurse’s office. Throughout the day, students and staff members attended their respective appointments to donate blood in the auditorium.

The blood drive was held by the Central Jersey Blood Center. The CJBC has sixteen service centers throughout the state of New Jersey. According to CJBCblood.org, its mission is, “to provide an adequate, high quality, and safe supply of blood, and other related services to meet the needs of area hospitals.”

There is no doubt that hosting blood drives at institutions like Rumson Fair Haven High School is extremely beneficial to these organizations and their mission to save lives. The donated blood will go to cancer patients, trauma victims, and others that need life-saving blood. The entire process is free and those as young as 16 can participate with a parent-consent form.

“The entire process was very quick and painless. Everything went very smoothly and I was happy to donate what I could,” said Shannan Kirchner, an RFH senior.

To sign up, students simply made an appointment with the school nurse, received a pass in their homeroom, and attended the drive at their respective times, bringing a parent consent form and ID. This was Kirchner’s second year donating blood, and she encourages all students 16 and over to participate in next year’s blood drive. Donating at the blood drive is simple, convenient, and an effective way to raise awareness.

“By having the blood drive at RFH, we are exposing students to the importance of donating and they can donate in a comfortable environment,” says the RFH school nurse and Health Club advisor, Mrs. Nill.

This was Mrs.Nill’s tenth year running the blood drive with the Health Club, and she was eager to be a part of the cause. Mrs.Nill believes that by bringing the blood drive to the school, we are leading the way for students to become lifetime donors to a great cause that is always in need of aid. If students miss the annual blood drive they can donate at any other Central Blood Center in New Jersey just by calling and setting up an appointment.

At the end of the day, RFH’s blood drive was very successful. According to Mrs.Nill, despite the limited 72 appointments available, 81 people donated, collecting 73 units of blood in total. With one unit of blood saving three lives, that’s 219 lives saved.

The Central Jersey Blood Center was very happy with the success of the blood drive. The entire RFH community was eager to donate and as a whole made a big difference. Mrs.Nill and the Health Club encourage all eligible students and staff members to participate in next year’s drive. 219 lives saved is a tremendous accomplishment and those who donated or worked the drive should be extremely proud. With the generous and big-hearted RFH community there is no doubt that next year’s blood drive will be just as prosperous.

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RFH Blood Drive Saves 300 Lives

by Megan

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This February, the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School annual blood drive, hosted by Ms. Nill and the Health Club, collected enough donations to save over 300 lives.   

This yer marked the blood drive’s 10th year. It aims to encourage eligible students to donate their blood for people with medical conditions that need it to survive. The process only takes about 40 minutes out of the student or teacher’s school day.  As long as you are able to donate, it is a great way to give back to those in need.

Juniors, Seniors, and teachers were all encouraged to donate blood for this past blood drive. The drive took place in RFH’s auditorium, with screening on stage and donations right below. In order to donate, one must weigh at least 120 pounds and have a particularly clear medical history.  People with specific exposures to illness or have engaged in high-risk activities are not eligible.  Other restrictions include recent travel and low iron levels.  Anyone over 17 can donate, but 16-year-olds must have their parent’s consent.

Right before a donation, one must be screened to make sure they are capable of giving healthy blood.  A  nurse or medical professional examines the donor and asks specific questions about their medical history. This is to make sure that donating blood is not hazardous to their health; specifically that the loss of blood wont make them anemic. Blood samples are taken to identify blood types and further investigate medical history. Once all requirements are passed, the donor is ready to move on and give blood!

To give blood, the donor heads off the stage and is seated in a tilted chair. At RFH, blood is collected in whole donations. Whole donations are the most common method of collecting blood. It is simply the collecting of blood from the donor’s vein into a container. When blood is collected, it is stored in a flexible plastic bag held on top of a digital scale. The scale measures the blood and also sways up and down to keep it from clotting.

Each successful donation is one pint per donor.  Ms. Nill, RFH’s school nurse and head of the Health Club, explained what happens to the blood once it is collected.

The blood that is collected at the blood drive is taken back to the Central Jersey Blood Center where it is screened. In addition to blood typing, each unit undergoes a rigorous testing procedure to ensure its safety.”

Each pint of blood is separated into 3 components: red blood cells, which are used for surgery and trauma patients; platelets, used to treat cancer patients; and plasma, which is used to treat burn victims. Blood products also help premature babies, hemophiliacs and cardiac patients. Once blood is separated, it is provided to local hospitals for patients who need blood transfusions.

 “The only way to keep and adequate supply of blood available to hospitals is for healthy individualsto donate,” stated Ms. Nill.  Donations are recommended for any healthy donor, as each pint can save 3 lives.  At RFH, there are normally about 80- 100 donors.

However, if you missed this February’s blood drive or you are interested in learning more about donating, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/ or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733 2767).

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RFH Hosts Another Successful Blood Drive

by  Elsa Stoff

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One hundred three people donated blood at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School during the Health Club’s annual Blood Drive on February 1.  Students, teachers, faculty members, and many members of the RFH community participated, aiding in the event’s success.

When asked about the event’s success, Mrs. Nill, the health’s club advisor, said, “I am happy that our students were so enthusiastic about helping others and donating.”

RFH’s blood drive was especially important because there is typically a shortage during the winter months.  Typically, there are very few blood drives during the winter, , rendering many blood banks almost empty.  The blood donated within the RFH community goes to the Central Jersey Blood Bank, and the organization was extremely grateful for RFH’s donation.  In fact, coordinators were happy to come to the school despite potentially hazardous weather conditions.  When Mrs. Nill offered to cancel the blood drive because of the predicted snow, the Blood Bank requested to proceed because of its blood shortage.

Participant Jen Maloney, sophomore, said, “I knew that by donating I’d be able to save three lives.  Anytime I can save someone’s life, it seems like a worthwhile opportunity to me.”

The RFH blood drive has undergone many positive changes throughout the years.  The blood drive has grown steadily; last year, ninety-seven people gave blood, compared to the one-hundred three people this year.  Also, this was the first year that sixteen-year-olds were allowed to participate.  The additional age group helped increase the numbers, and many sophomores participated for the first time this year.

Another benefit of the blood drive is the scholarship involved in the process.  At the end of the school year, a scholarship is given to a senior who demonstrated dedication to the blood drive throughout his or her high school career.  A one hundred dollar scholarship is given to the school just for hosting the event, and additional money is added with every unit of blood donated. So, anyone who did not participate in the actual blood drive located at RFH can help with this cause by going to the Central Jersey Blood Bank and giving blood in the school’s name.

Mrs. Nill explained that one of her main goals for the blood drive is to educate RFH students about the importance of donating blood as a means of giving back to your community.  In her mind, the blood drive transcends the immediate cause; the current need for blood.  Students gain knowledge by participating, and they learn that giving blood in high school helps to create donors for life.

Mrs. Nill commented, “I feel it is important for the drive to be held at school so that students can experience the process in familiar surroundings and then maybe venture out to blood banks in the future to continue to donate on a regular basis.”

There will always be lives to be saved, and RFH’s blood drive has helped create a generation that will sustain the ill and injured in the community.

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