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Ten percent of MIHS students give blood

Mercer Island High School junior Vito Giampapa gets prepped to donate blood at a Mercer Island High School gym last Friday afternoon.   - Mary L. Grady/Staff Photo
Mercer Island High School junior Vito Giampapa gets prepped to donate blood at a Mercer Island High School gym last Friday afternoon.
— image credit: Mary L. Grady/Staff Photo

Islander students rolled up their sleeves to donate blood to the Puget Sound Blood Center last Friday afternoon.

According to Blood Center staff, 140 students signed up to give blood in drive organized by MIHS Senior Service Club members.

According to club member and organizer, Renee Chiang, they were turning students away because there were just too many.

Veteran PSBC volunteer Kerry Chesbro screens donors when they arrive. He said that for a high school blood drive the turn out was very good. “Getting ten percent of your student body to donate is a very good number.” Students must be at least 16 to donate.

Of the general population he noted, just between five and ten percent donate and considering that donors.

He said the students did well despite many being first time donors. Just a few had to sit a few extra minutes while they recovered from the experience. “Some just did not have enough to eat or drink beforehand and were likely dehydrated,” he said.

An added benefit from the high school drive is the diversity in blood that was collected there. According to Chesbro, of the 40 students he had already screened, only about ten identified themselves as white. That left well over half who identified themselves as being of other races or multi-racial — giving the regional blood supply more versatility.

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