HHS FFA blood drive includes plasma-donation option

Hillsboro High School student Briana Loewen, 18, (pictured above) said she has been giving blood since she was 16 years old. ?This is my seventh time donating,? she said. American Red Cross employee Liz Storey of Wichita, also pictured, prepared to draw blood while Loewen talked about why she donates. ?It is an activity I enjoy doing and I know it will also help someone,? she said. Loewen is also a member of FFA, which sponsored the drive Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the school. Sonja Roberts, FFA adviser, said that out of 91 people willing to give blood, 84 qualified. ?We also had 27 first-time donors,? Roberts said. An added option at this blood drive was the use of the ALYX Component Collection System, which allows two units of red blood cells to be collected during a single donation. According to Jo Cubbage of Wichita, with the Central Plains Region, the donors? own plasma is returned to them, along with saline to replace volume loss. ?We had five donors and 10 good bags,? Cubbage said. ?This was very productive and maximized the donations.? Red Cross officials also said the FFA students did a great job at the drive. ?They unloaded the truck at 7:15 a.m., did registration, supervised the canteen, escorted donors where needed and reloaded the truck when we finished,? Cubbage said.

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