Giving blood

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Re: Giving blood

Postby AKO » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:26 pm

I recently started giving blood again after a few years lay off (I couldn't donate for a while after getting my last tattoo and lost track of time). I found my performance on the bike to be very sluggish for a day or two after donating so now I just schedule for the day before I head back out to work. They tell me I have nice veins and keep asking me about donating plasma. I know I should but I haven't yet. Maybe when I get back from my long holiday down in Sydney town ;)
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Re: Giving blood

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:27 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Following on from Lobstermash' comments, Plasma donations (phoresis) enable you to give them what they need more often and with less loss of fluid/blood pressure for yourself - win-win. However, if yoo are whole-blood donor they may or nmay not suggest it as a more valued option so ask about it if you are not yet doing the plasma phoresis thing.


One thing to be mindful of, you will be there for a lot longer. Not suggesting it makes it any less worthwhile (virtually all of my donations are Plasma), just pointing it out from a logistical point of view for anyone thinking about doing it.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby nezumi » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:28 pm

Plasma donations are requested for some donors and whole blood for others - generally O neg is whole blood, O pos they will take either but might ask for Plasma (O pos is the most common group).

Plasma donations take about 40 minutes versus ~10 for whole blood, but you can do it on a monthly basis rather than quarterly.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:38 pm

im_no_pro wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:Following on from Lobstermash' comments, Plasma donations (phoresis) enable you to give them what they need more often and with less loss of fluid/blood pressure for yourself - win-win. However, if yoo are whole-blood donor they may or nmay not suggest it as a more valued option so ask about it if you are not yet doing the plasma phoresis thing.


One thing to be mindful of, you will be there for a lot longer. Not suggesting it makes it any less worthwhile (virtually all of my donations are Plasma), just pointing it out from a logistical point of view for anyone thinking about doing it.

True. Considerably longer. One handed smart-phone apps are a good thing.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:06 pm

Plasma can be given every two weeks, but you have to wait a month between a whole blood donation and a plasma donation. The biggest downside of a plasma donation is that it takes 45 minutes for the donation, with around 15 minutes before and after for health check interview and de-access from lines.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby DavidS » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:37 pm

I do wonder why you need appointments and the like if we are so short of donors. Methinks the Red Cross needs more funding to provide this vital service and be able to get people in and out quicker.

I can give blood on work time but this just leaves more work to do in less time so it really doesn't help.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby cp123 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:45 am

because they're also limited by the number of nurses, machines and beds available.

if i was to book a time that suits me at the office it would mean rearranging a whole day. but we have a mobile bus that does the rounds in a different location every week for 3 months and i go there in a lunch hour and book ahead for the next time they're there.


also - if you have 10 brand new people, they get a longer interview/chat than regular donors as there is a lot more stuff you have to go through. if 10 newbies turned up at the same time without appointments nothing much else would get done all day. and all of them would be waiting so long they probably wouldn't bother going back.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby HappyHumber » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:37 am

I live about 15 minutes walk from my nearest ARCBS, and have rolling appointments booked each time. I go of an early evening in my own time fortnightly for plasma. I just take a book...... its no big deal. The staff are all great.

Actually, they roped me in for a platelets donation next time. Its a bit longer again than the plasma; ~60 mins vs 40.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby Sweeper59 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:14 pm

DavidS wrote:I do wonder why you need appointments and the like if we are so short of donors. Methinks the Red Cross needs more funding to provide this vital service and be able to get people in and out quicker.

I can give blood on work time but this just leaves more work to do in less time so it really doesn't help.

DS


Appointments allow the Blood Bank to manage donors more efficiently, and minimises queuing and waiting times. Also, donors are more likely to turn up if they have an appointment
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Re: Giving blood

Postby pacra » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:11 pm

I've donated regularly for a couple of decades and commuted all thru that time.
I used not feel any effects until a few years ago. I'm in my mid 60's now and I definately feel flat on hills for about 1-2 weeks after. No shortness of breath or anything like that, just a sensatiom of loss of power in the legs as if I had a few extra kilograms of load.
I did ask a doctor and he said apart from making up blood volume from fluids it takes around 3 weeks to replace enough red cells sufficent to previous efficiency as you get older.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby HappyHumber » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:24 pm

Sweeper59 wrote:
DavidS wrote:I do wonder why you need appointments and the like if we are so short of donors. Methinks the Red Cross needs more funding to provide this vital service and be able to get people in and out quicker.


Appointments allow the Blood Bank to manage donors more efficiently, and minimises queuing and waiting times. Also, donors are more likely to turn up if they have an appointment


This.

It's not a slap dash process, not like walking off the street for a hair-cut. It is tightly controlled from the hygiene as well as legal point of view. There's always some bureaucrats behind the scenes subtlety adjusting the procedures and rules. It amazes me how the staff keep up with all the ever-shifting changes.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby Wakatuki » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:23 pm

Hmmm,
In the UK if I was out and about and spotted a van and fancied a bit of a warm up or cup of tea and biscuit you just popped in, showed them your ID answered the questions and away you go.

Being a English man they dont like the smell of my blood over here in AUS. I am sure that the choice of death or potentially infected blood (mad cows) blood would be the choice.
You would think that with all the x-pats and immigrants that we could have a clean stock for the purists and possbile infected (mad cow) for the rest of us... please sign the waiver here!
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Re: Giving blood

Postby rolandp » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:52 pm

Gave platelets after work today. There was 3 of us in cycling gear, out of around 20 people giving blood.

There are only 3 bike racks that I'm aware of, and one was being used by a staff member, so one of the guys had stored his rode bike in the 'tea and biscuit' area that you get after giving blood.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:11 pm

rolandp wrote:Gave platelets after work today. There was 3 of us in cycling gear, out of around 20 people giving blood.

There are only 3 bike racks that I'm aware of, and one was being used by a staff member, so one of the guys had stored his rode bike in the 'tea and biscuit' area that you get after giving blood.

Mine always goes up the stairs with me. :mrgreen:

I had a fail this morning - the nurse pricked the needle throu the vein, it puffed up (haemoraging around it) and progressively choked of any chance of a full extraction.

Still, averaged out over time I have only had an issue like that about every seventy or eighty. Worth it for an hours peace and a coffee and cake.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby zues » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:13 am

I have been donating blood for over 30 years and never had any ill effects from it.
My iron level has always been on the low side for a male (140-142) but no ill effects.
However, once donated blood on a Friday lunchtime and then road the usual 60km Saturday morning ride. Felt weak after 30km and then got dropped, didn't do any PBs that day. The following Saturday I was back to normal.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby baabaa » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:46 pm

I have a pretty long commute so try and book a Friday, at midday. Go slow in and out for 2 days before and very slow home on the day. Found I need to really focus on traffic and stuff, as the reactions can be a bit slow after a bleed. I also have sometimes felt like rubbish and picked up a chill or sore throat a week or so after.
The nurses love people who are fit because it is easy to find a vein and it is over pretty quick. Give it a go, great for the smugness feeling alone.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby michael_w » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:10 am

The mobile blood bank is visiting my work next week and I've got an appointment for Thursday. The commute home on Thursday may be a couple of minutes slower, but that's about it.

I've tried to encourage a few colleagues to join in but they've all got reasons/excuses as to why they won't/can't - some seem more dubious than others. I'm not judging them, but it's such a simple thing that most people are able to do yet the number of donors are always small.

I haven't needed blood (yet, touch wood) and I don't really give much of a thought to the lives I may be helping to save except for when I'm at the blood bank reading the posters. It's just something that I was introduced to as a twenty year old and now I'm in my forties it's something I feel I have always done. I've never had any side effects and the staff have always been lovely and welcoming.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby TonyMax » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:19 am

Even if you can get one person to come along with you that's one person who wouldn't normally have gone along.

If you work in a big place sometimes you can get some friendly rivalry between branches/divisions/teams going.

Also if you work in a big place you can organise to get some brochures from your local blood service and stand at the entry giving them out and asking people to "think about giving blood next week".

If you're super keen they might have a Billy Blood Drop costume you can borrow to make it even more interesting.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby nezumi » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:38 am

michael_w wrote:The mobile blood bank is visiting my work next week and I've got an appointment for Thursday. The commute home on Thursday may be a couple of minutes slower, but that's about it.

I've tried to encourage a few colleagues to join in but they've all got reasons/excuses as to why they won't/can't - some seem more dubious than others. I'm not judging them, but it's such a simple thing that most people are able to do yet the number of donors are always small.

I haven't needed blood (yet, touch wood) and I don't really give much of a thought to the lives I may be helping to save except for when I'm at the blood bank reading the posters. It's just something that I was introduced to as a twenty year old and now I'm in my forties it's something I feel I have always done. I've never had any side effects and the staff have always been lovely and welcoming.


I was a conscientious objector to Red Cross for a long time. I still hold the view that their questions target sexual orientation, rather than sexual practice.

As a female, you can have unprotected sex with a different guy every night and pass their screening, as long as you have no reason to believe those guys have done anything with another guy.
On the flipside, two guys can be in a long term committed relationship and not be allowed to donate.

I give blood now, but I still object to the form of the questions.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby ValleyForge » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:47 pm

From the exercise POV, used to help run a lab for students that took groups of "volunteers" and tested them pre/post donation crossing over with no re-hydration or unlimited re-hydration.

I know it's not blinded, but the performance reduction was impressive in the donation/no rehydration group; but still very significant in the unlimited hydration group.We would re-test the week after and any performance reduction (even against the controls) was abolished.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby michael_w » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:37 pm

All over for another 3 months. 6m 15s to drain 470ml from my left arm 8) That juice box and orange/poppyseed muffin were worth it
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Re: Giving blood

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:15 pm

michael_w wrote:All over for another 3 months. 6m 15s to drain 470ml from my left arm 8) That juice box and orange/poppyseed muffin were worth it

This.

If you're physically able and you don't donate, why not?
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Re: Giving blood

Postby rolandp » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:56 pm

And if you can afford the time, donate plasma or platelets. You can the donate every 3-4 weeks.

And you get the drink and muffin as well, every time.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby blokeinamoke » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:39 pm

rolandp wrote:And if you can afford the time, donate plasma or platelets. You can the donate every 3-4 weeks.

And you get the drink and muffin as well, every time.


This. Especially if you have a rare blood type, i am A- and donate platelets every 2-4 weeks, most of the time they are a matched donation ie. a hospital has called the blood bank requiring fresh platelets of a certain blood type. Anyways, you dont loose any iron (RBC's) they only take a little bit of plasma along with it, but you are replenished with a normal saline mix+an anticoagulant.

Im a big advocate of blood donation and have never ever had a bad side effect from it. (26yrs old btw), drink plenty of fluids before donation, drink plenty of fluids post donation and get a good meal into you. No dramas. As others have mention, they're only taking a pint (or there abouts) of full blood at a time (your body carries between 4.7L-5.1L at any given time). You can replenish volume quickly, its the RBC's and WBC's that take a long time to return (hence the 10-12 weeks between full blood donations).

Anywho, back to meds rounds! hooroo!
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Re: Giving blood

Postby barefoot » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:38 am

michael_w wrote:All over for another 3 months. 6m 15s to drain 470ml from my left arm 8) That juice box and orange/poppyseed muffin were worth it

The tasty treats are nice, but I've been wondering what else they could offer to entice people in... short of paying donors, which is a bad way to go IMO.

I got to thinking... one of the silly little things I enjoy about giving blood is the data. I don't get my blood pressure and Hgb measured very often, so it's interesting (as well as scaring the nurse with my heart rate... last week, she went old-school with fob watch and finger to verify the 42BPM measured by the machine :mrgreen: ). It's the most regular medical check-up I get. I also like to think that if they found anything really nasty in my blood they'd let me know, even if only to tell me they don't want any more of my toxic blood thanks.

Maybe they could play that angle up a bit more. Chart the things they measure so the donor can track their health.

Maybe measure a few more things if they don't already. I have no idea what gets measured when your doctor orders routine blood tests (cholesterol? glucose? vitamin D?) but while they've got a vein open, they might as well fill an extra vial once a year or whatever and track some other things.

Could they employ a few doctors that donors could book in for an annual bulk-billed check-up at the same time as a donation appointment?

I just think that if they offered more than cordial and biscuits in return for blood, especially if it doesn't cost them much if at all, people might be more inclined to donate more regularly... and some kind of health check and monitoring wouldn't take much at all for them to do.

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