Archived Story

RHS hosting ‘Russellville 500’ blood drive

Published 4:17pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

After setting records with their 2012 and 2013 blood drives, Russellville High School is hoping to surpass those totals and collect even more life-saving pints of blood at their upcoming 2014 blood drive.

Organizers of the event, which is sponsored by the RHS National Honor Society, are calling it the “Russellville 500” blood drive because that is the number of pints they hope to collect.

In 2012, the RHS blood drive had record-setting success, becoming the largest single-day American Red Cross high school blood drive in Alabama by collecting 304 units.

That mark not only made RHS drive the biggest single day high school drive in the region, but it also ranked as the fifth largest single day high school blood drive in the Southeast, and the 17th largest single day high school blood drive in the American Red Cross system (which includes 36 blood services regions across the country.)

In 2013, the drive grew once again, collecting 356 units to once again register as the largest single-day American Red Cross blood drive in Alabama.

After the past two years of success, sponsors set a goal to collect 500 pints of usable blood in 2014, but they will need many blood donors from across the county to make that happen.

January, which has traditionally been a difficult time for the blood supply, is “National Blood Donor Recognition Month,” and Red Cross representative said there’s no better time to take up the habit of blood donation.

Because blood can be separated into three components – blood, platelets and plasma – one donation can benefit up to three individuals. Because it takes up to three days for blood to be processed and made available to hospitals, it is important that a donation be made ahead of an emergency situation.

Some tips the American Red Cross gives for prospective blood donors in order to prepare include:

• Double your fluid intake in the 48 hours leading up to the drive.

• Make sure to eat a nutritious meal the night before, as well as the day of, the blood drive. Eat iron-rich foods such as lean beef, broccoli, eggs, greens, shrimp or dried beans. Also consume foods rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, cabbage, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

• Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before the drive.

• Remember to bring a photo ID or American Red Cross donor card.

The “Russellville 500” blood drive will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the RHS gymnasium and field house.

To make an appointment to give at the Russellville High School drive, please visit www.redcrossblood.org, or see any RHS National Honor Society student to sign up.

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