Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blood Donation

You could save a life by donating blood

Didn't have time to write anything up for this site related to mecha because I spent my spare time during the day heading over to my local Red Cross Chapter and donating blood. Above is a shot of my bandage which was just on top of the vein they took the blood from. I edited out the bloody parts from the photo because I wouldn't want anybody barfing after seeing this *snicker*

If I remember correctly it was 450cc that they took from me. This isn't the first time for me to donate blood, but this is the first time I donated to the Red Cross. Before my company sponsored a blood drive wherein a government institution came to get blood from volunteers and from there on I made a promise to myself that I would donate regularly.

When I went to the Red Cross office they first took a blood sample by pricking my finger in order to determine my blood type. Good thing my brother already gave me a tip on how to make the process less painful. And this is by asking them to prick you on the side of the finger and not the tip. Its because there are a lot more nerves on the tip of the finger than on the side, that's why its more painful if you get pricked there.

Afterwards they asked me to fill up a questionnaire. From there they can determine if you are qualified to donate blood. Which usually means that you haven't taken any antibiotics recently, or aspirin in the last 3 weeks, haven't had hepatitis, a recent operation, a flu vaccine shot, hadn't gotten sick recently, ear piercings, tattoo's etc. They also have to check your weight and blood pressure. And of course, you haven't donated blood within the prescribed safe interval between blood donations.

When I checked out and was given the "go" signal to donate blood they put me in a room with a tv. A nurse came to tie a tourniquet on my upper arm. She then asked me to make my hand into a fist so that the vein will come out. She said that they have 3 veins to choose from, they prefer the center one because it doesn't collapse during insertion as easily. But since my left vein was the one that was bulging out and therefore was more visible, they stuck the needle in there instead.

They gave me a rubber ball to squeeze, after a few minutes I asked if I could stop pumping the rubber ball because I was tired already because the ball was just darn too hard to squeeze. To which the nurse said that they should have given me the cloth ball which was much softer to squeeze... bleeehhhh.

While we were waiting for the bag to fill they gave me my donor's card. According to them I can use this to redeem blood from them in case I will need it in the future for myself. Or I can donate this to somebody else who is in need of blood.

After a few minutes and with the 450 cc's of blood already in the bag they pulled out the needle and they bandaged up my wound. I wasn't allowed to leave right away as they wanted to ensure that I wouldn't suffer from the effects of blood loss. After about 15 minutes I was then allowed to leave. They told me to drink a lot of liquids right away.

You know you live in a third world country when the local Red Cross doesn't offer you any drinks or a snack, as is the common practice after you have donated blood *snicker*

I'm hoping to make this a yearly practice. Better still if I can remember to donate more than once a year. In my own little way I know that I am helping to save a life out there somewhere. This was bolstered even further when I was able to experience seeing a crowd of people in the Red Cross office who were going there to donate blood. A person had a sick relative in need of blood and in order to save on the cost of blood he took to massing a crowd of people himself to replace the blood he would be taking out. Then there was also a certain group of people from a particular nationality who was there to donate blood for the sake of their countryman who was in need of blood also.

I'm Thankful too that I am capable of donating blood. Not everybody can donate because of the strict requirements and because some people don't have the constitution of not being afraid of having blood taken from them. Its not their fault of course, God made them that way :D So you can just imagine how important it really is for people who are capable of donating blood to regularly donate.