Last fall, Eastside Memorial High School health science students served about 38 donors at the school's blood drive for students and community members.
The blood drive was a collaborative effort with the Central Texas blood center, We Are Blood.
Prior to the blood drive, a group of 11th- and 12th-graders participated in an educational tour of the We Are Blood facility on Lamar Boulevard. The tour, led by We Are Blood’s Public Relations Manager Cindy Rowe, taught students about the donation process.
“We are very interested in having students tour our center and learn more about blood and tissue processing,” Rowe said. “We feel it is important for our communities to know the importance of blood donations.”
The group also learned about tissue donation by a heart transplant recipient, Lemuel Bradshaw.
To raise awareness, students visited classrooms for a three-week period throughout Eastside Memorial and International high schools, set up information booths in cafeteria foyer areas and made announcements advocating the importance of donors.
The students' efforts paid off with about 78 people registering to donate for the fall blood drive. Staff of We Are Blood conducted screenings to determine eligibility for donations.
Because of recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, staff required potential donors undergo interviews and health histories. Some of the potential donors were not able to donate, but the students hit their goal of 35 donations.
The health science program exposes students to various career pathways to enter the myriad health-related jobs in the Austin area. The program is led by the coordinator of health sciences, Dr. Sanford Jeames.
The EMHS Health Science students held their first blood drive in May 2016.
The next blood drive will be held this May.
Basic requirements to donate blood include being at least 17 years old, weighing at least 115 lbs. and being in generally good health. Donors must bring a photo ID and proof of age. The process takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
For more information, please contact Jeames at 512-841-7705.