Anatomy teacher Todd Diederichsen prepares for upcoming blood drive

The Blood Drive will happen on Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will take place at Hope Church located along Mercury Drive. The blood drive will no longer be happening at Grand Haven High School due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

Anatomy teacher Todd Diederichsen has been part of the blood drive for 19 years. He is now a coordinator and helps advertise.  

“It’s really the idea of realizing that you’re there to help people survive,” said Diederichsen. “People in the hospital need blood.”

The goal of the blood drive is to gain participation so people in the hospital can get the blood they need. The collected blood stays within western Michigan and if it is not needed it gets sent to other parts of the state. 

To donate blood you must be prepared. The most important thing is to stay hydrated. More notable preparations would be; eating healthy, having your driver’s license/student ID ready, knowing answers to personal health-related questions, and being ready for the finger prick. The prick is necessary to make sure you have enough iron in your blood to donate. 

After the finger prick, you will be given a snack and donate blood. This process will take 12 to 15 minutes.

“After that, you stay with us for at least 15 minutes, just eating some snacks, drinking some juice, and hanging out,” Diederichsen said. “That makes sure that your body is reacting well to it and then you can leave.” 

COVID-19 has surprisingly had some positive impacts on the blood drive. 

“Hope Church was very gracious to host it,” Diederichsen said. “The good news is because we’re off-site, we can do it for longer hours. We can go late afternoon into the evening and it’s open to the community.”