Holland Medical High School students donated blood Friday to put a dent in the local blood shortage; however, the Meek Blood Center, which supplies blood to 17 area hospitals, is still desperately in need of blood.
The blood center needs all blood types, but especially O positive and O negative at this time. The center is located on the Hendrick Medical Center campus and Hendrick spokeswoman Lynn Bruton said flu season and other sicknesses may be the reason for the current blood shortage.
Donors have to be at least 17-years-old to give blood but can donate at 16 with parental consent.
“I wanted to help people, I’ve always wanted to donate blood but I was always too young,” Holland Student Austin Acor said as he donated.
“It’s a little scary, but it’s a good feeling because you know that you’re going to help somebody that needs it,” Holland Student Annabelle Contreras said.
According to the blood center, an accident or trauma victim could need as many as 30 pints of blood when they first get to the hospital. There are about eight to 12 pints of blood in an adult’s entire body.
“Our teachers all talked to us about if we wanted to give blood to like help save somebody's life, if whether they were like in an accident or just if they're like in the hospital so I was like well it'll be a good opportunity,” Contreras said.
The center estimates only 5 percent of eligible donors in the nation actually step up to the plate.
On Friday, 68 students from Holland Medical High School donated blood and that was only enough for a one day supply.
The minimum weight to donate blood is at the Meek center is 120 pounds. Donors must also be in good health and recent travel and medications could disqualify certain donors.
For more information, visit the center’s website or call them at (325) 670-2798. The center is located at 1150 N. 18th St. on the first floor of the Cedar Mall Building at Hendrick Medical Center.