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BLOOD DONATION    by Andrew Li

The blood donation was held in the Common Room on 9th January, 2002. The preparations for this meaningful day started much earlier at 8:00 after the Red Cross Mobile Unit had arrived at our school. After the preparation work was done by the unit's staff and our prefects, the donation began. ________________________________________________

Prefects led students who were aged 16 and above to the common room where they were first asked to fill in a form with their personal information for future reference. Those who were under 18 were also required to hand in a parent consent form to the staff. After the administration process was completed, the donor had their finger prickled for a haemoglobin test to see if the donor's blood concentration was safe for blood donation. Measurements for blood pressure were also taken for reference.

Then the donor would be asked to lie on a crouch and the donation would begin. The donors were asked to remain calm throughout the donation. Sometimes the nurses would chat with the donors. The whole atmosphere in the common room was tranquil and soothing. Each donation lasted for about 15 minutes. After donating, the donor could take a seat in the designated area and have a drink and some biscuits. A souvenir was also given to the donor. Some of the students were eager to share their experience with others while others were sitting down quietly, and looked very tired. But when asked about their feelings after donation, all of them said that they were happy since blood donation is a meaningful experience and could help save other's lives. The blood donation day ended at about 12:30.

About 40 students and teachers donated blood on that day. Mr. Daswani and Rev. George Zee were among the teachers who gave blood. But the number of students who gave blood this year was very disappointing. This may be due to the lack of understanding of the blood donation process by the students, they may think that blood donation is a painful process. This is a common misconception and the fact is that the process is virtually painless due to the use of anesthetics. Other students who fail to produce parent consent forms also missed this chance.

"Being a man for and with others" is an important part of our Wah Yan Spirit. This means being a Wahyanite, we should help and support others in need of assistance. People who are injured in accidents and others who are experiencing chronic disease are in desperate need for blood and giving blood to them is an act of kindness which is an important part of Wah Yan spirit. We sincerely hope that more Wahyanites will learn more about blood donation and overcome their fear and give blood in the years to come.