Author Topic: Tips on Donating Blood  (Read 8776 times)

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Snooks

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #90 on: March 02, 2013, 10:15:02 AM »
Urgh boys have all the breaks when it comes to blood donation, they never have to worry about if they've been pregnant and not known about it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #91 on: March 02, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »
kareng57, if you answered the questions and told them about the HGH, they would let you know that you were no longer eligible to donate.  The final 'Yes' or 'No' box is basically to confirm that you didn't lie when you answered any of the questions.  As far as I know, only those pints where someone answered 'No' would go into a research stream.  Anybody screened out ahead of that wouldn't be donating.

When I used to be able to donate, I participated in some workplace 'competitions' - there was never any feeling that I had to donate.  Maybe I was just lucky.

One time I donated, I was tagged because of my blood type.  Apparently, they wanted my blood type for a research study at Sick Kids so an additional small portion was taken.  It was kind of cool.  Except for the part where all the needles for those special donations were a little dull.  :P  It wasn't on purpose but for some reason, that batch was just dull.

I've told this story before:  My brother is a regular blood donor at a permanent clinic.  One time, the nurse was asking him the questions and got to the 'Have you ever paid for s3x with money or drugs?' and he shot back with, 'Does dinner and a movie count?'  The nurse cracked up and couldn't finish asking all the questions she was supposed to but because he was a regular and she knew him, she just sent him on to go donate.

Rohanna, I didn't know that.  Even O- folks?  That seems like a lot of blood to take out of the stream.
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Redwing

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #92 on: March 02, 2013, 08:34:55 PM »
  One time, the nurse was asking him the questions and got to the 'Have you ever paid for s3x with money or drugs?' and he shot back with, 'Does dinner and a movie count?'  The nurse cracked up and couldn't finish asking all the questions she was supposed to but because he was a regular and she knew him, she just sent him on to go donate.



This is so hilarious!  Thanks for the laugh!  I really needed it tonight!

kareng57

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #93 on: March 02, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »
As an interesting fact, in Canada women's blood and plasma products are never used "whole", as women's plasma runs the risk of triggering a reaction called TRALI (Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury). Women's blood products are used for research or turned into products like clotting factor treatments for hemophiliacs or other similar drugs.

The reasoning behind it is that women who have been pregnant (even if they never knew they were) can produce factors in their blood as a reaction to the fetus- and that triggers a reaction in some donor-recipients. There's no practical way to screen for it at the moment, and often donors would have no idea they'd had a chemical pregnancy decades ago (even if they could always be trusted to report it or remember it).


Could you provide a link for this - thank you.

Kaymyth

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #94 on: March 03, 2013, 12:00:32 AM »
I have a question, my sister and I try to donate blood as much as we can, but lately, they can't seem to find her veins on either arm, is there anything she can do to avoid that next time?

Is it cold where you are?

When I could donate, I generally had a lot of trouble with my veins during cold periods. I think the nurse said something about the veins contracting / becoming small and difficult to find when my temperature was low. During the summer, it was much less of an issue.

Also, I've found that water makes most things better. It was helpful to drink several pints of water in the hours leading up to a donation.

(Everyone seems to be different though...)

I finally gave up on giving blood; my veins are so tiny that the needles they use are actually *larger* than the veins.  This isn't very conducive to a successful donation experience.  I used to be able to back when they still had butterfly needles on-hand, but they don't anymore because they say that the smaller needles "damage" the blood somehow.  I have no idea if there's any real veracity to that or not.

I have enough trouble just going in for a blood draw when they *can* use a butterfly.  There's only one vein in my left arm (nobody's ever found the vein in my right; it's buried too deeply) that they can find with any consistency, and even then they sometimes blow it out.  I just had a blood draw a week-and-a-half ago; not much bruising this time, but my arm still aches a little bit from it.



Katana_Geldar

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #95 on: March 03, 2013, 05:12:01 AM »
Donating tomorrow, which reminds me. I nee to keep my volume up.

Rohanna

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #96 on: March 03, 2013, 07:59:12 AM »
http://www.bloodservices.ca/CentreApps/Internet/uw_v502_mainengine.nsf/page/Transfusion_Related_Acute_Lung_Injury-TRALI

In practical terms from my placement there, women's donations are all streamed to drug and other product making unless it is a very rare type.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

scotcat60

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #97 on: March 03, 2013, 12:14:55 PM »
Were they saying that Hancock put people off donating?

No. Every Christmas the BMJ is given over to  articles on medical issues, some of which are spoofs and this was one of them. The Hancock episode is consisdered a classic, with people qoting the very nearly an armful line to this day, even though it was first broadcast in the 1960s. Rather like when a doctor takes you pulse and you quote the Groucho Marx line about either this man is dead, or my watch has stopped.

Rohanna

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #98 on: March 03, 2013, 08:16:11 PM »
Kaymyth: in modern blood donation the plasma (amber coloured liquid part of the blood) and the red blood cells are generally separated and used for different purposes.  When you use too  small a needle* it can cause something called "hemolysis"- this is what they meant by "damaging" the blood.  Basically, forcing the red blood cells at pressure through too small a lumen (needle tube size) can cause them to rupture open- tearing the walls of the cell apart which ruins both the cells and contaminates the plasma. This makes the blood sample useless for either plasma donation or using the red cells for what are called "packed cell" products- which are used in transfusions. You can't usually *tell* that you have a hemolyzed sample until you've let it sit or spun it down, so you've also wasted the time and money processing an unusable sample.

*  FYI, as well,  butterfly is not a needle size, it's a needle type :) A standard needle can come in most sizes except the very smallest, a butterfly generally comes in most sizes from the very largest right down to the paediatric needles. Most people only see butterfly paediatric needles if they have tough veins, so that is where the misconception comes from. The difference is that the butterfly allows the tech to enter at a *shallower* angle, as it gives one a different and  more accessible place to hold the needle- this is useful for small or very surface veins- which are common on women and young children.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Kaymyth

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #99 on: March 03, 2013, 09:49:19 PM »
Kaymyth: in modern blood donation the plasma (amber coloured liquid part of the blood) and the red blood cells are generally separated and used for different purposes.  When you use too  small a needle* it can cause something called "hemolysis"- this is what they meant by "damaging" the blood.  Basically, forcing the red blood cells at pressure through too small a lumen (needle tube size) can cause them to rupture open- tearing the walls of the cell apart which ruins both the cells and contaminates the plasma. This makes the blood sample useless for either plasma donation or using the red cells for what are called "packed cell" products- which are used in transfusions. You can't usually *tell* that you have a hemolyzed sample until you've let it sit or spun it down, so you've also wasted the time and money processing an unusable sample.

*  FYI, as well,  butterfly is not a needle size, it's a needle type :) A standard needle can come in most sizes except the very smallest, a butterfly generally comes in most sizes from the very largest right down to the paediatric needles. Most people only see butterfly paediatric needles if they have tough veins, so that is where the misconception comes from. The difference is that the butterfly allows the tech to enter at a *shallower* angle, as it gives one a different and  more accessible place to hold the needle- this is useful for small or very surface veins- which are common on women and young children.

That makes sense.  They do use the itty-bitty ones on me when they need to stick me; it was a veritable odyssey for them to get the IV in when I went in to get my gallbladder removed.  They wrapped my arms in hot towels and eventually wound up choosing a vein in my inner wrist, which was decidedly unpleasant.

Super-tiny blood vessels run in my family.  The Mayo Clinic actually pestered my mom for a while because they wanted to study her.  (Come to think of it, the surgeon who removed my gallbladder told me that I also had one of the tiniest cystic ducts he'd ever seen.  Apparently we just have architectural issues.)

Anyway, bottom line is that they can't get a big enough needle into me to get a full pint, and the whole procedure is unpleasant enough that I just don't put myself through it anymore.  There are plenty of other paths to help, like my First Aid/CPR/AED certification. :)



Katana_Geldar

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #100 on: March 03, 2013, 10:42:22 PM »
They didn't take my blood today as DH and I sort of we t to Vanuatu in our honeymoon. We went to a tiny island, nowhere near the malaria zone, but they still couldn't take it.
so I gave plasma instead.

StarDrifter

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #101 on: March 04, 2013, 06:27:00 AM »
Katana that's interesting - here in Australia the Red Cross is still happy to take donations from people who've recently been to the Pacific Islands - Husband and I went to Vanuatu just on 2 years ago and he donated blood about a month after we got back.

I'm currently ineligible (8 months pregnant) and will remain ineligible for the next 18 months-2 years, depending on how long I breastfeed. But it was entertaining to go with Husband to the donor centre last week and have all the nurses fussing over *me* making sure that I was sitting down and getting enough fluids (really hot afternoon and my ankles had swollen up. ugh) while Husband was the one donating blood.

Husband's biggest tip though is to drink water all through the day, and make a donation in the afternoon/early evening sometime before dinner. He usually drinks 2 or 3 litres (2 or 3 pints, I guess?) of water through the day and avoids caffeinated anything for a couple of days prior to donating, or his blood pressure gets too high.

The rules at the Australian Red Cross have changed recently as well, now they ask you to drink at least 500mls of water before/as you donate - they supply bottled water for that purpose, so donors are asked to come in a good 10-15 minutes before their appointment to ensure that they're hydrated enough.
... it might frighten them.
Victoria,

Rohanna

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Re: Tips on Donating Blood
« Reply #102 on: March 04, 2013, 08:35:27 AM »
As well, don't go right after eating a very heavy or fatty meal- the sample will probably be "lipemic" (very full of, well.. fat) and difficult to use or unusable. A regular lunch is fine (and will probably help you not faint :) )
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.