Author Topic: "May" We Tell You You ROCK?! (Remember! Both donors AND NON-donors are stars!)  (Read 147734 times)

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Stoneway

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 02:23:51 PM »
I have A-, which supposedly a rare type. United blood services and Red Cross call me when the supply get low. I think I'm pretty popular! ;D


I am A- too and have been a blood donor for just over 2 years.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  The donor sessions I attend are always extremely busy, which is great to see.  I find it especially heartening to see lots of teenagers donating (just goes to show there are many caring young people out there).

cicero

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 02:27:57 PM »
good for you!

I've donated blood in the past. I can't anymore (I had chemo)...

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Layla Miller

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2009, 02:41:52 PM »
I have A-, which supposedly a rare type. United blood services and Red Cross call me when the supply get low. I think I'm pretty popular! ;D


I am A- too and have been a blood donor for just over 2 years.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  The donor sessions I attend are always extremely busy, which is great to see.  I find it especially heartening to see lots of teenagers donating (just goes to show there are many caring young people out there).

Another A negative here, but DH is O positive so he always got the more insistent calls after we donated the first time.  I've donated several times, but the last time I tried, they said my veins were too small.  I wonder if it might have to do with different procedures/equipment, though, since the times I donated previously (through a different organization, in my hometown) there was no trouble at all.  Regardless, next time they have a blood drive, I'm trying again.  If that doesn't work, I'll just have to save my donating for my visits home.  Maybe they just want it more.  :)
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nutraxfornerves

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2009, 02:57:54 PM »
I donated yesterday. I've been a regular donor for the last 30 years or so, except for periods when I was deferred due to travel to an area with malaria. I am CMV negative, which makes me pretty popular. CMV is Cytomegalovirus, a common virus that about half of US people have. Most people never even know they've been exposed to it. However, the virus can be dangerous for pregnant women, premature babies, people on chemo- or radiation-therapy or anyone whose immune system is not working well. So blood banks need blood from people identified as CMV negative

I figure it this way. I have something I'm not fully using right now--a pint of blood. I can give it to someone who will die unless they get it. How can I not donate?

What else can you do that takes about an hour, results in a bunch of people telling you how marvelous you are, gets you some free goodies--and leaves you knowing that you have flat-out saved someone's life?

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GirlyGirl

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2009, 03:02:20 PM »
I admit that I really hate donating blood, but I keep doing it.  I've got O-, and they guilt trip me with the need for that, and also my blood is good for babies or something.  In other words I feel like I'm killing babies if I don't do it.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2009, 03:06:57 PM »
I meant to add: A couple of years ago, Mr. Nutrax had emergency surgery for an ulcer that suddenly perforated into an artery. He was given 12 units of blood. If it weren't for 12 generous people, he wouldn't be here. So part of my donating is also payback.

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singingserpent

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2009, 03:10:20 PM »
I donated blood once, but after they found out my type (B+), all they want from me is platelets and plasma.  I've only had a couple of bad experiences with bruising, but I like to go.  It takes me almost 2 hours, so I usually can watch a movie on TV while I do it--uninterrupted--which is not something I can get at home!

DottyG

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2009, 03:12:08 PM »
Then, you're the one to talk to, singingserpent!  Tell me more about the platelet procedure.  Is it done the same way as the whole blood?  Does the returning blood go back through the same needle?

Give me more info on this procedure, as I'm thinking about doing it next time.

You can do it more often than donating whole blood, which is a perk.


Julep

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2009, 03:15:45 PM »
I am scared to death of needles, blood, pain... maybe not phobia-level scared, but at least woozy-level. That said, I've been giving regularly since the day I was eligible, in high school. I've given several dozen gallons so far. Honestly, I've lost count, and I've moved so much that I need to call like five different Red Cross regions to add it all up.

I just turn my head and ask them to make sure I can't see the needle before I'll turn it back. I've had a few uncomfortable donations, but out of probably thirty- or forty-something, that's not so bad.

I'm O-, so the very exciting thing that frequently happens to my blood is that before they wrap it up and put it in the cooler, they put a big tag on it that says "PEDS" ... so I'm saving kids and babies. Yay.

My most recent excitement is that I signed up to be on the National Bone Marrow registry. I hear that's a great deal more involved than donating blood. But when I donate blood, it's so rewarding. Imagine what it would be like to save someone for whom you're the ONLY match they could find! Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

Yay for Dottie and all the other donors, and thanks to everyone who has even tried.

LadyClaire

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2009, 03:17:07 PM »
I tried to donate blood. My veins, they are too wimpy for the big blood taking needle. *is rejected*

They do a blood drive on the campus where I work every few months. A lot of students and employees donate.

Julep

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2009, 03:22:25 PM »
I tried to donate blood. My veins, they are too wimpy for the big blood taking needle. *is rejected*

They do a blood drive on the campus where I work every few months. A lot of students and employees donate.

For a stretch of six or nine months I was anemic so I know about being rejected. But that was when I discovered that the nice folks that give you all the goodies and juice are all volunteers. So I've been the sign-in lady and cookie lady pretty frequently since then (probably six or seven years now). Only had one guy turn grey on me, and I caught him before he hit the floor. He actually fell rather gracefully out of his chair, but I was still impressed that my adrenyline helped me slow that 250 pound guy's fall!

All that is to say, if you still want to be involved, there are ways!!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2009, 03:31:06 PM »
I was watching a 5'0", 100 lb woman walk a 6'4", 200 lb guy over to the refreshments table and wondered aloud to my 'keeper' what she would do if he fainted.

Turns out, they are trained to make sure they cradle the head to make sure the melon doesn't smack the floor.  That's the biggest concern.
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Nurvingiel

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2009, 03:41:27 PM »
I wish I could, but even getting one tiny vial drawn for blood tests drops my blood pressure enough for me to pass out, so my doctors have always warned me against dontating. I only have A+ blood though not one of those cool blood types like O+/- ;)
Actually A+ is pretty rad. I have O+ which is the most common. O- is the universal donor.

I've given blood a few times but I never got in the habit. This thread has inspired me to really try the next chance I can. Unfortunately where I live we don't have a permanent clinic. We have a mobile clinic that shows up every 56 days (as often as you can give blood). Last time it was here I forgot. And it actually comes close to my house too! When I was at university the clinic was really far from where I lived and I never got around to going there.

Outdoor Girl: I imagine she'd keep him from cracking his head. I mean, even if someone falls, you can protect their head, right?
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singingserpent

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2009, 03:42:08 PM »
Does the returning blood go back through the same needle?

Give me more info on this procedure, as I'm thinking about doing it next time.

You can do it more often than donating whole blood, which is a perk.



When I first started, they had to use two arms--one to take out and one to put back in.  Now they are phasing out the two arm machines where I live and it is all done through one needle, so my other arm is free to turn pages of a book if I bring one.  It does take a bit longer though.

The blood is taken out spun through the machine and the platelets & plasma are separated out. Then they give back the red blood cells to you plus an anti-coagulent.  You will feel it coming back into your vein, as it is cooler than body temp.  I always get a blanket, and they will put a warm pack on your arm if you want too.  Sometimes I bring thick socks and take off my shoes and put them on before I get on the couch/bed thing.

The anti-coagulent makes my mouth feel funny, I can't remember why it is, but the nurses give me tums to add back calcium to my body maybe?  

Hints that work for me:  I try to eat steak or hamburger the night before so I won't be rejected for low iron.  Drink lots of fluid starting the day before  The more hydrated you are, the quicker it will go, but it is a fine line because you don't want to have to go to the bathroom when you're stuck on the machine for an hour+.  After they do all the paperwork and screening, I always ask to be excused to the restroom before they start prepping me, even if I don't really have to go (sorry if TMI).  

I hope it goes well for you!  It does make you feel good afterwards and the nurses and techs are so helpful.  Don't hesitate to ask them what they are doing and why--most times they are happy to tell you (in detail!) what is going on.


Dindrane

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Re: Donating blood
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2009, 03:52:40 PM »
I donated blood for the first time when my high school had a blood drive.  I ended up with an overall good experience from that, but I also managed to get a 3 inch in diameter nasty looking bruise as a souvenir (they had a hard time finding the vein).  Ironically, that was the time that donating blood caused me the fewest problems and the least amount of pain (go figure).

Since then, I've donated a couple of times, but I didn't always have a lot of opportunities as a college student, and I was disqualified for at least a couple of years (nose piercing, then travel to Kenya).  The truly unfortunate thing is that my last experience hurt a lot, and left me feeling very lightheaded and nauseated.  I regret to say, I haven't been back since.

I really ought to suck it up, though, and just ask for someone experienced.  I'll have to make sure I'm eligible, since I've recently done some other international traveling (and I'm not sure if it disqualifies me or not).

Also, when it comes to blood types, I've always been really interested in how they're distributed among the population.  I think 70% of Americans have either O+ or A+ (it's about 35% for each of those).  B+ and AB+ are a lot less common, but any of the Rh- types are really uncommon (probably because Rh- is recessive to Rh+).  It's just amazing to me that O+ is as common as it is, since O is recessive to both A and B types.

And, to share a funny story, the first time I donated blood, they mailed me a little card with my blood type and some other stuff on it.  They listed "unknown" for my blood type, which I thought was really very odd.  I'm hoping that means they just weren't able to use it (although if they didn't even type it, that makes me think it went bad, and that's rather a waste).  My actual blood type is A+ (which is yet another reason I ought to be donating more, since they try to match the blood types of donor and recipient exactly).