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James Clemens blood drive nets 40 units

Raleigh Schmidt is ready to give blood at the second annual blood drive at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Raleigh Schmidt is ready to give blood at the second annual blood drive at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – So many people wanted to donate to the blood drive at James Clemens High School that organizers had to turn people away.

James Clemens initiated the drive in 2013 and participation increased this year, clinic nurse Deborah Shaner said.

“We were able to donate 40 units, an increase of five units from last year. I’m so very proud of every donor, especially our student donors, which (accounted for) 96 percent of our donors,” Shaner said.

For perspective on a unit of blood, one accident victim can need four to 100 units. A liver transplant requires 10 units, while open heart surgery needs two to six units, she said.

The drive was completely ‘booked.’ “We actually had about 26 on a waiting list, so if someone didn’t show up or was deferred they could take their place. Next year, we’ll definitely have more slots,” Shaner said.

As blood drive coordinator, Shaner registered 16-year-olds, who must have parental consent. “We had at least four 16-year-old donors, and several were on the waiting list,” she said.

During lunch, James Clemens SGA volunteers manned a registration table to help students sign up online. SGA volunteers then worked shifts on the actual day of the blood drive.

“The SGA acted as runners for the American Red Cross, assisted with snacks and gave out T-shirts,” Shaner said. “I am especially appreciative of SGA sponsors Melanie Turner and Madelene Marcus who organized more than 20 volunteers,” Shaner said.

Senior SGA President Manny Rivera also was instrumental in coordinating work throughout the drive.

“We had one double-cell donor,” Shaner said. “Next year, I’d really like to recruit more.” A male weighing more than 150 pounds and five feet, one inch tall minimum can be a double-cell donor.

Shaner hopes the drive becomes “an annual ‘flight of service'” for the Jets. “School drives actually account for more than 30 percent of blood collected in Alabama.”

For more information, email to American Red Cross contacts Teresa Bush at Teresa.Bush@redcross.org or Kevin Reid at kevin.reid@redcross.org.

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