DECA: Saving Lives

Victoria Santos, Journalism Student

Last Friday, March 18, the DECA club successfully ran their second blood drive of the year. Every year DECA, along with the American Red Cross, hosts two blood drives in our school gym. “We didn’t have a single student who didn’t feel good after the donation, something that the Red Cross personnel told us never happens at high school drives,” says Mrs. Karen Fildes, DECA adviser.

An important factor to the commitment of Bethel High students is the student staff. Weeks before, these DECA students recruited students seventeen and older to donate. The planning for this event, as Andrew Barnes said, was “strenuous but worth it.” Making sure everyone knows what time to be in school and making sure everyone does everything correctly days prior to their donation truly is hard work, but the reward of saving a life makes it worth while.

“Andrew Barnes did an outstanding job of recruiting donors and pre-screening them for things that might exclude them from donating,” says Mrs. Fildes. “The DECA students also contact all student donors the evening before the blood drive to remind them to eat breakfast and to drink extra water. These two things will ensure that the student is in the best physical condition to donate.”

Taking good care of yourself weeks prior to your donation day is important to make sure you are healthy and your blood isn’t contaminated. “As a result, we have very few deferrals (students who start the process but can’t actually donate) and we rarely have students who have complications,” says Mrs. Fildes.

“Donating blood is a very simple act that has huge benefits to our community,” says Mrs. Fildes. “There are people who need blood donations every day and if we in CT don’t donate enough to meet that need we have to import blood from other states. Cancer patients, women giving birth, surgical patients and accident victims are all in need of blood on a daily basis in our area hospitals. One hour of your time in donating can save three lives!”

The American Red Cross collects the blood from this event, which is then distributed to hospitals around the area. “This drive we collected 79 usable pints, which translates to 237 lives saved – we are very proud of our success,” says Mrs. Fildes.

If you are willing to donate a pint of your blood to save a life, then talk to Mrs. Fildes or look for a clinic or the Danbury Hospital where they are always happy to help you save somebody.