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Author Topic: Hatrack Blood Drive
kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Pinky:

Tatiana, the weird feeling when you get back "the rest" of your blood is caused by the citrate they use to stop the platelets and plasma from coagulating. Calcium is helpful. I always drink two of those effervescent tabletts shortly before and during the actual donation...

I have discovered that the best remedy for me is to drink a chocolate milk shake during the last few returns. You get the calcium, the sucking helps to ease the facial cramps, and the chocolate is just because.
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Pinky
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[Smile] Well, that's worth trying. In addition to the tabletts. I don't think, I can get enough calcium from a shake to get rid of that weird taste in my mouth as soon as they start to pump back the "stuff". But a good idea in any case, for I have my appointments always in the morning and donate with empty stomach. (I don't like having breakfast, but coffee.)

Facial cramps? My lips always feel like..uhmmm, do you know how it feels when you hum with a sheet of paper lightly pressed against your lips? Do you mean that?

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rivka
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Well, I tried. But my iron was too low (just one point).

I rescheduled for Tuesday (great job posting this thread right around the time I had a couple days off, ElJay!), and I've been munching on almonds. I also plan to go get a multivitamin (I've been thinking for a while I should be on one, but never quite got around to it. [Blushing] )

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Tatiana
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Anna, you're totally right that the tubing is new and sterilized. There are probably all sorts of quality control checks on it as well, to make sure there's absolutely nothing inside the tubing that could possibly get into you and harm you. I just thought about it, though, and realized that if my blood flows only in the "out" direction, I don't have to even think about it. Blood does clot, too, so I avoid the chance (though I'm sure it's miniscule) of getting clots delivered back into my vein, as well as skipping the anti-coagulant, which I don't want or need in my body.

If it made a huge difference in the amount of benefit I could create for recipients, then it might be worth it. But since it's very nearly equal either way, I'll stick with whole blood donation.

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Anna
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Anyway, if it's in the USA like in France they need the whole blood as much as the components.
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Tatiana
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Here they need packed cells much more often. It's possible that they will throw the plasma away, even. But that's okay with me.

I'm not positive why packed cells alone are the thing doctors call for most often here in the states. Perhaps Theaca can tell us. Do packed cells have a longer shelf life than whole blood? Or is it because the main thing patients need is the oxygen carrying capacity of the cells? Fluids can be made up with sterile IV solutions, I suppose, if the patient needs those. So I imagine IV fluids are safer to use for increasing blood volume than the plasma component of someone else's blood. (Again, we're talking very small probabilities of danger, but still, why add any tiny component of risk you can avoid?)

It's also possible that it would decrease the chance of immune reactions between the donor's and recipient's blood. The A, B, and Rh factors are the main blood antigens, of course, but in addition to those there are myriads of rarer antigens which usually cause almost no problems but occasionally do. Before transfusing a unit, there's always a type and crossmatch done between the donor's and recipient's blood, as well as an immediate spin (in the centrifuge) of a sample of each mixed together just to see if there are any problems. If the two are incompatible for any reason, the blood will clot up together. Inside someone's body those clots would be a very bad thing.

There still can be very rare immune reactions that don't show up on an immediate spin. I'm guessing (though I don't know for sure) that if you don't transfuse the plasma portion, you might lower the chance of such reactions a certain amount. Theaca or CT, is that true?

Some people who have to receive a lot of blood products gradually develop more and more problems from becoming immune to other people's blood. Reactions can be extremely dangerous, of course, and can kill the recipient.

While it's totally safe to give blood, it's a bit more dangerous to receive it. That's why doctors don't order blood for patients (especially since the 80s) unless they are extremely sick and really need it. But when they do, it quite often saves their lives.

[ February 18, 2006, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Tatiana
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Someday, someone will invent a cheap blood substitute which will cause no immune reactions with the donor, have zero risk of trasmitting any blood borne diseases, have unlimited shelf life at room temperature, and will have twice the oxygen carrying capacity of real blood. Hasten that day!
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Goody Scrivener
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You mean like this? (I knew we'd discussed it here before, this one has a link to a prior thread here as well)
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Pinky
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I think they probably might use the plain platelets to produce remedies, for example for bleeders. Or for patients who are temporarily in need of extra-platelets to fix any inner wounds that can't be sewed well enough... Well, I'm not at all sure about the latter, but I can't imagine either that those platelets are ONLY useful for "full-time" bleeders.
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Theaca
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I don't know all the cool details about transfusion medicine. It's fascinating.

I DO know that whole blood is made of three components that get saved as FFP (fresh frozen plasma), packed red blood cells (PRBC), and platelets. Each is used for different things and is stored in a different way and stay usable for different amounts of time.

PRBC are basically used for profound anemia. Usually acute blood loss from bleeding, cell destruction, or inability to make red cells. Bleeding and chemo are the two most common causes of the need for PRBC.

FFP is used when people need clotting factors. I scarcely see it used but surgeons use it quite often, I think.

Platelets are only used for low platelet levels. I see it used quite often during chemotherapy when the level of platelets drops to a dangerous level.

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Anna
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I heard sometimes they need the components more only because they can take more platelets (for exemple) from the same donnor than if they took the whole blood, and the risk of infection is lower when you can transfuse with a product that comes from one donnor only.
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Anna
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Oh, and by the way, this night I dreamt I was donating blood in a room full of Hatrackers. Pretty cool dream.
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Tatiana
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Awesome, Anna!

Yes, there is that extra benefit to the patient as well that I forgot. When a single donor donates two units of packed cells at once, the patient gets exposed to half as many donors, so it halves his or her risk of both disease and immune incompatibility.

Those platelets donors sit over there for a long time on the pheresis machine, but I think you're right that they can donate in platelets the equivalent of what the RC would get from processing many units of whole blood. Is that true? That would definitely help people who need a lot of platelets (like hemophiliacs) be exposed to fewer donors.

Theaca, I didn't know what FFP was used for. That's fascinating!

Goody! I remember that thread now! I remember being really excited about the product itself, but not at all excited about the fact that it would be tested on people without their consent. I can understand the difficulty, though. The people who need it most are trauma victims, usually motor vehicle accident victims, and they need it instantly. It has the potential to save lives, but I feel strongly that they should only use it until real blood becomes available to the patient. In other words, give it to the patient only when the only other alternative is to watch him or her bleed to death. At least during the testing phase, and before the patient can give informed consent.

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Anna
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quote:
Those platelets donors sit over there for a long time on the pheresis machine, but I think you're right that they can donate in platelets the equivalent of what the RC would get from processing many units of whole blood. Is that true? That would definitely help people who need a lot of platelets (like hemophiliacs) be exposed to fewer donors.
At least in France it's true.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Sometimes it is good to minimize the total volume of fluids you give to a patient. For example, there has been some discussion of the swelling of tissues in some patients known here (including, I think, Mrs. M's Baby Aerin and beverly's & mph's Baby Xerxes). One way to minimize the leak of fluids out of the intravascular space is to give less free water -- i.e., something like PRBCs instead of whole blood.

Additionally, there are two types of forces (hydrostatic, which is basically general pressure, and oncotic, which has to do with the equilibration of concentration across membranes) that determine whether free water moves in or out of the vessels to/from the surrounding tissue. PRBCs have higher oncotic pressure than whole blood, and (if I recall correctly) have a net oncotic force to draw free water out of the tissues and into the blood vessels, thus reducing swelling.

Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why one might prefer PRBCs over whole blood (or vice versa) -- it's pretty complicated. This is just another of those many interesting things to take into account in practicing medicine.

-------------

Edited to add for Tatiana: a reference that touches on some of the shelf life and preservative issues for various blood components as well as some indication of reasons to use "fresh blood" in some cases.

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rivka
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Dried fruit, nuts, multivitamins, and steak.

I figure my iron level should be up enough tomorrow. [Big Grin]

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ElJay
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I had souvlaka for lunch, and will take a multivitamin tonight. (Forgot this morning.) My appointment's for 1:15 CST tomorrow. [Smile]
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rivka
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Before mine, then. It's at 12:45 PST.
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IrishAphrodite19
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I tried to give blood at the blood drive here at school today, but I didn't have time before I had to be at a meeting. Does it count that my roommate gave though? And 16 of my sorority sisters also gave...

We are going to go to the blood bank together and give as soon as she is able to give again, though.

~Irish

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Altįriėl of Dorthonion
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Nellie Bly has her appointment on the morrow.
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ElJay
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I'm about to leave for my appointment. I admit I'm nervous, it hurt more last time than I was expecting. So honestly, if I hadn't started this thread, I'd probably be chickening out right now. Glad y'all are here. Here's hoping I've got enough iron! [Smile]
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Narnia
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Sending good vibes to you Eljay, I hope it went ok. [Smile]

I have an appointment for a week from tonight!

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ElJay
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I came close to fainting, and had to breath into a paperbag with my feet up, and then they molly-coddled me to an extreme. [Razz] But other than that, yeah, it was fine. And it was right at the end, so I got the full donation done, and that's what counts! My red blood count was at 38 exactly, so I just made it. [Smile]

Now I'm drinking plenty of fluids and will eat well tonight.

Can't wait to hear from rivka and Nellie!

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Shigosei
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Hey, ElJay, might as well take me off the list. Donating blood makes me extremely tired for a week or so, and I'm already pretty non-functional due to fatigue. I'll try to donate once I'm feeling better.
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Tatiana
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CT, thanks for the great info! I love this stuff! [Smile]
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rivka
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I got my iron up to 40 (from 37 on Friday). And I'm feeling a bit less tired too -- I knew I should've been on a multivitamin!

I gave without a problem, unless you count the fact that they had to jab me in the right arm (my right-arm veins are better than my left-arm veins, so this usually happens). I got my favorite tech, and it was quiet enough that I got her both for my interview AND the blood draw (usually it's different people doing the two steps). It took me about 5-6 minutes to give my unit.

They had the kinds of cookies I like. And I got a free movie pass.

And I signed up to give again April 21.

Thanks, ElJay! This was a great idea! [Big Grin]

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xxsockeh
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Love the idea!

Unfortunately, I'm only 13...I doubt I'm old enough. 'Sides, I'm terrified of needles. I may see if I can go with parental consent sometime.

Can anyone speak from experience and tell me if the needle hurts much?

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Valentine014
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No, I'm afraid you can't donate until you're 17 in the U.S. There is one exception but I'm sure you're still not old enough for it either. If you have a family member in need of blood, you can make special arrangements with the Red Cross to donate just for that person.

[Grumble] Why don't I ever get free movie passes when I donate?

EDIT: I see now that you live in Canada but I'm sure the age requirements are pretty close.

EDIT #2: Wow. I didn't know the Canadian Red Cross no longer did blood services. I'm betting it's because of that incident in the 80s.

But for your information: Candadian Blood Services Basic Donor Info

[ February 22, 2006, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: Valentine014 ]

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Astaril
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This is a great idea! I've wanted to donate for a long time, but never have. I can't donate blood here, not because of any eligibility issues, but simply because I have no way of getting to a donor clinic. The only one anywhere near here in the next two months is naturally taking place the one weekend I will be hundreds of kilometres away. I did, however, visit the CBS site and register for the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which I think I might already be on, but I am making sure.
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twinky
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I donated today. [Smile]
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Anna
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I'm going to be able to donate after March, the 10th - so I'm going to take an appointment to donate platelets.
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Anna
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Appointment taken... It will be on Monday, the 13th.
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ElJay
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[Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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I gave blood the other week at the bloodmobile that was at my college...unfortunatly, I clotted up after only half a bag. Unfortunatly for me as well as the blood bank, because them moving around the needle in my arm trying to get it to flow again hurt like a EXPLITVE DELEATED!

*shrug* I tried.

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Unicorn
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The place my mother and I both donate to does not pay you for the blood, but often will give you something (not always). I have a waterbottle, a t-shirt, a couple of pins, and a bath towel. There is quite a variaty of snacks for afterward - sweet, savory, liquid, and frozen. I've already asked them to call me and remind me to donate in about a year. I can't remember if you can donate while nursing, but I know you aren't allowed when expecting. [Smile]
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rivka
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If your iron levels are high enough and your OB says it's ok, then you can donate while nursing.

Best to wait a couple months or three (they'll make you wait until 6 weeks after the birth, but my OB said 10 weeks, IIRC).

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ketchupqueen
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My doctor told me not to do it until 4 to 6 weeks after I'd stopped bleeding. (Which, for me, amounted to about 6 months.)
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Anna
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quote:
then you can donate while nursing.
It also depends on the rules in your country - here it's not allowed.
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rivka
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That's interesting, Anna. I didn't know that.



kq, a woman who is still experiencing postpartum bleeding is almost certainly not going to have a high enough iron level. Neh? [Wink]

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ketchupqueen
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Precisely.
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Dobbie
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I gave last Wednesday. No problems, as usual.
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Valentine014
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I knew this was going to be the last time I tried to give if it didn't work. It didn't. I had a reaction (dizzy, nausea, etc.) so I won't be going back. It's really too bad too because the nurse had a great stick. Phil also couldn't donate because he is on antibiotics. I'm O.K. with it though. I signed up to volunteer and I'm really excited about doing that.
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ElJay
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[Frown] Sorry it sucked, but I'm glad you'll be volunteering, and that you're okay with it. [Smile]
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Goody Scrivener
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I'll be sacrificed to the vampires... er... laid on the offering stone... um... making my donation in about 4 hours. [Smile]
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Shanna
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Yay. Let us know how it went.

I'm eligible to donate again in 17 days. woot!

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Advent 115
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I'd like to say on behalf of all the idiots who give plama: "I'm woozy and my butts asleep".

(gave blood yesterday at the blood drive mobile) [Big Grin]

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Goody Scrivener
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Shanna, no big. Never is for me. Well, not anymore. First time I donated I passed out cold when I made the mistake of looking down at the donation site. Next several I warned the nurses to make sure to cover the site so I couldn't see anything and to keep the ice packs handy. I've now been donating for 6 or 7 years.

Oh, and today I got a lapel pin [Smile]

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Anna
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I have an appointment to donate platelets on Monday. [Smile]
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Advent 115
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Dang! You got a lapel pin? I can never seem to get one of those awsome "Hero" shirts. They always seem to be out of them by the time I give plasma.
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Valentine014
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If you want the pins, you have become a "Holiday Hero." In other words, you have to donate the week of a major holiday (around Christmas time, the 4th of July, Memorial Day). There are eight holidays that you can get a pin for.
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