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franklin county times
Photos by Alison James RHS sophomore Bragwell was one student donor at the National Honor Society’s annual blood drive at Russellville High School Wednesday.

NHS blood drive totals 320 pints for Red Cross

Organizers reported another successful National Honor Society blood drive at Russellville High School Feb. 15, resulting in 320 pints of blood donated – just shy of the 331 goal.

“This school never fails to deliver,” said Red Cross Central Gulf Coast Region account manager Teresa Becker. “This comes at a very crucial time for us … We have a constant need, but because of the holidays just recently and some weather conditions across the country, that impacts us, and we haven’t been seeing the donors like we need to. So this will fill a big gap for us.”

Every NHS student is required to recruit two donors from the community and two high school students – or four donors from the community. NHS President Logan Wallace said students who weren’t able to meet their recruiting goal will perform extra community service hours in a different capacity, since the recruitment counts toward the students’ required service hours.

“Social media was our biggest thing that helped us (spread the word),” Wallace said.

Becker praised the NHS students for their efforts in making the annual blood drive a reality.

“The kids have been awesome. They have recruited all the donors and been diligent about reminding them to come,” Becker said.

Following the drive, Becker said test tubes of blood are transported to a testing location, and accepted pints are then transported to the areas of greatest need – within the region, first, and then across the nation if the region’s needs are met. Power Red donations, in which a specialized machine takes a double donation of red blood cells and returns other blood components back to the donor, are pre-processed at the blood drive and thus can go to a hospital within 24 hours. Most whole blood donations make it to a hospital within 72 hours. “In an emergency need like this, it doesn’t sit on the shelves,” Becker said.

The Red Cross Central Gulf Coast Region is the primary supplier to UAB hospital, Becker said – the third-largest blood need hospital in the country.

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