The Importance of a Pint (Editorial)

Hannah Westbrook, Photographer, Advice Column

Donating blood is a situation many people hesitate to do; however, the benefits to others are truly endless. If many high school students can’t wait for their first tattoo, why is there such a hesitation when donating blood?

When I was younger, I was never allowed to donate blood. My parents weren’t keen on the thought (although my dad was an avid donater). However, there was nothing more I wanted to do. At 17, I began to donate when the Central PA Blood Bank bus came to the highschool. However, I now consider myself a regular donater.

I used to be that kid at the doctor’s office that nurses had to hold down. I hated needles and seeing my own blood, and frankly the thought never failed to make my stomach churn. However as I have gotten older, I now understand the priceless benefit to donating.

The first thing I have to stress is to not be afraid of the “big” needle. I was always the one to request a butterfly needle (yes, the ones doctors use on newborns), when giving blood for tests. However after donating blood, I realized that the bigger gauge wasn’t anything to be worried or concerned about. If anything, it makes the process go by faster.

During school isn’t the only opportunity to donate either. You can donate every eight weeks (56 days) at the Carlisle Blood Bank near Nell’s grocery store (which is what I do), and Community Aid additionally hosts blood donation events (that even sometimes get you coupons on clothing, which is a total plus).

From one student to another, here are some key things/tips I have learned:
• If donating at the Carlisle Blood Bank, your donation will more than likely go to Carlisle Hospital. If donating on a Central PA Blood Bank Bus, it will be taken to one of their main banks, such as in Harrisburg (you can check them out at

• Yes, there is without a doubt your blood will be used. If anything, sometimes Carlisle Hospital has to have blood brought in.

• When donating, approximately a pint of blood is taken. It takes around 12-13 days for your body to fully produce that amount again.

• Be aware of the “requirements” for donating blood, such as being at 110 pounds and waiting at least a year to donate after getting a tattoo.

• You will be asked some *slightly* personal questions that regard to sexual behavior and medical history. Being 100% honest will result in a safe donation for you and the receiver. 

• You may be slightly nauseous after donating, which is totally normal! Drink orange juice and take advantage of eating some sweets. Bruising a few days after donating is totally normal (although uncommon for me personally).

• Most importantly: When donating, keep in mind how important and life-changing your donation is to someone in need. It makes the process all the more worth it.

Although some may get squeamish by the thought of donating blood, I highly encourage doing so. If pain is not a concern for you but you are disturbed by needles and blood, simply close your eyes and look away (as tempting as it may be to take a peek). I hope many students and faculty take up the opportunity on January 22 to donate in order to help (and potentially save others). As the Blood Bank’s motto says, “The pint you give helps others live!”

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2015-2016 Periscope staff, CHS Administration, or the CHS student body.