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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » January is National Blood Donor Month

   
Author Topic: January is National Blood Donor Month
Valentine014
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Article
quote:
Start off the new year right, by donating blood to the Red Cross or your local blood bank in honor of National Blood Donor Month. The process only takes an hour of your time, and results in lifesaving platelets or pints of blood for those in need.
While I am not a suitable blood donor, I have taken on a personal mission to recruit donors in support of the American Red Cross. Donated blood saved the life of my grandfather two years ago and I am an active volunteer. I hope all of you will consider donating blood or your time this month. Thank you in advance! Feel free to post here after your donation!
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aiua
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I love donating blood. I actually just got my donor card in the mail the other day. I wish my report card was like my blood-- A+!
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Uprooted
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I used to love being able to donate blood, especially since the organization I worked for hosted blood drives every few months and that made it really easy to do. Plus my O-neg blood was always enthusiastically received.

I remember that sometime in the 90s, my having spent 18 months in Portugal made me ineligible. But now I'm reading the Red Cross website, and wonder if anyone wants to give me feedback, because I'm thinking I may not be excluded after all.

quote:
At this time, the American Red Cross donor eligibility rules related to vCJD [Variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease, aka mad cow] are as follows . . .


You are not eligible to donate if:

. . . You were a member of the of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military who spent a total time of 6 months on or associated with a military base in any of the following areas during the specified time frames

From 1980 through 1990 - Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland), or Germany
From 1980 through 1996 - Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece.

I'm not sure if I misread the guidelines back whenever it was, or if they've changed them. At any rate, I did spend 16 months in Portugal as an LDS missionary in the mid-80s, but I never spent any time in the military or on bases there. So sounds like I'm still okay to donate, right?

I also spent the summer of 2002 in Mozambique, but that's not on the list of HIV type O excluded countries, and I'm past the time frame for malaria exclusion.

Hmm. Maybe I will go somewhere and try to donate. I know they do screening interviews, so I'll find out if I'm ineligible.

Thanks for the reminder, Valentine, it may have made a difference in my life since the article linked to the Red Cross guidelines and I actually went and reread them.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I went to donate blood once, but once I got there, I couldn't force myself to even walk into the room.

<-- has needle issues, and has been known to pass out because of it

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
At any rate, I did spend 16 months in Portugal as an LDS missionary in the mid-80s, but I never spent any time in the military or on bases there. So sounds like I'm still okay to donate, right?

I'm not sure but it never hurts to call them up and ask.
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Tinros
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I would ask, Uprooted. I'm eligible, due to a weird reading of the rules- I was conceived and born on an Air Force Base in Italy in the 80s, and spent a grand total of 14 months there- including the nine inside my mom. But they don't count those, so it's really only 5. Lucky me, I'm O-. They want my blood.

So, I donate when I can. I'm rarely healthy enough, but I did back in November, and will as soon as I'm eligible this month, assuming I stay healthy.

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Tstorm
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I only donate twice a year. Yes, I could donate more. No, I'm not going to. I'll admit the reasons are purely selfish. On the plus side, it's quite convenient to donate the two times a year I do...they come to my workplace to host the blood drive. [Smile]
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Mrs.M
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I want to add my thanks to all the Hatrack blood donors - no matter how often or how much you donate.

My Aerin recived 6 transfusions before she was 3 months old and each one of them was life-saving. There aren't words to express the gratitude I felt toward that donor (it was a dedicated donor due to antibody issues). It's one thing to understand abtractly that a pint of blood can save a life, it's quite another to see the life that's been saved. This healthy little girl wouldn't be here if not for people like you. Thank you.

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T:man
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January is also national T:man remembrance month!
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Raia
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Unfortunately, I do not qualify. But good for you for doing this!!
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rivka
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I've been trying to get my iron back up to the donor-level, but I know that during this time of year, when my allergies are in overdrive, it's a wasted effort. But I do plan to try again in a couple months!

The causes of lupus and MS are better understood than you imply, [person who deleted their post]. They are genetic, and not blood-borne. And IgG transfusions come from filtered (as well as screened) blood. So please try not to unnecessarily panic anyone who might be reading this thread.

[ January 05, 2009, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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Xann.
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I'm not sure if any of you would know, but my father lived in Africa during the eighties and because of that himj and my Mom were not allowed to give blood when they tried a long while ago. Does anyone know if this would bar me from giving blood?

Edit. Neither my parents nor i have been tested positive for HIV or AIDS.

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The Genuine
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
I went to donate blood once, but once I got there, I couldn't force myself to even walk into the room.

<-- has needle issues, and has been known to pass out because of it

I don't know if it's the sight of needles, the sight of blood, or the actual blood loss, but I tend to get dizzy when donating blood, and am one of those people you see with the wet towel on their head being slowly helped off the table by a flurry of phlebotomists. Maybe secretely I just like the attention.
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Valentine014
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Xann, you would not be disqualified from donating based upon where your parents lived, only where you lived.
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Carrie
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I'll be donating again this month. I was eligible in December, but I failed to do so. But I most certainly will this month. I've got to get me another gallon pin!
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Jhai
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I really wish I could donate - I have a desired blood type, and I have absolutely no issues with needles or lack of iron or anything like that. Sadly, it seems the medical profession has a bias against irregular clotting in the blood going to trauma victims - who would have guessed? My husband is also out, since he had jaundice from water contamination as a child. He's still eligible to be a bone marrow donor (I'm not), so he's getting signed up for that.

Guess it's going to have to be organs or medical science for me, and hopefully no time soon.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Genuine:
Maybe secretely I just like the attention.

Secretly?
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DDDaysh
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I'm such a wuss. I used to be so terrified of it, that I could never donate blood. Then I got to the point where I wouldn't go into convulsions and was able to donate a couple of times.

My problem is that the people the blood bank uses to draw blood down here are totally awful. After two times of going to donate and having them stick me multiple times (once taking almost half a pint before the needle flew out of my arm) and then not even getting to give my blood because they couldn't draw it right, I gave up. Maybe I should give it another try, but being AB+ makes it even harder for me to get up the gumption to go through it all.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
My problem is that the people the blood bank uses to draw blood down here are totally awful.

Is there another place you can donate? Maybe a local hospital? I had some bad experiences giving blood, and will only donate at one local hospital, where there staff is great.
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Ela
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
I really wish I could donate - I have a desired blood type, and I have absolutely no issues with needles or lack of iron or anything like that. Sadly, it seems the medical profession has a bias against irregular clotting in the blood going to trauma victims - who would have guessed? My husband is also out, since he had jaundice from water contamination as a child. He's still eligible to be a bone marrow donor (I'm not), so he's getting signed up for that.

Guess it's going to have to be organs or medical science for me, and hopefully no time soon.

Such a bias makes perfect sense to me.
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kmbboots
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I used to donate platelets through either Red Cross or LifeSource. I now donate directly at the hospital. The experience is better - more personal and the staff seem more skilled as well as dealing with just a couple of donors at a time. I also have some issues with low iron which are less of a problem donating platelets instead of whole blood.
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AvidReader
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quote:
Originaly posted by The Genuine:

I tend to get dizzy when donating blood, and am one of those people you see with the wet towel on their head being slowly helped off the table by a flurry of phlebotomists.

I had a wonderful nurse explain it all to me once. Something about the stress causing adrenaline which ups the blood pressure and when you calm down it crashes the blood pressure. So if you're like me and you can avoid the initial stress, you should be fine.

I take a book or a friend to chat with. Being good and distracted makes it all better.

My problem this time of year is trying to figure out where the cold left off and where the sinus issues begin. I've still got a cough, and I won't donate until I'm sure it's just sinuses.

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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Ela:
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
I really wish I could donate - I have a desired blood type, and I have absolutely no issues with needles or lack of iron or anything like that. Sadly, it seems the medical profession has a bias against irregular clotting in the blood going to trauma victims - who would have guessed? My husband is also out, since he had jaundice from water contamination as a child. He's still eligible to be a bone marrow donor (I'm not), so he's getting signed up for that.

Guess it's going to have to be organs or medical science for me, and hopefully no time soon.

Such a bias makes perfect sense to me.
... it was a joke.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
quote:
Originaly posted by The Genuine:

I tend to get dizzy when donating blood, and am one of those people you see with the wet towel on their head being slowly helped off the table by a flurry of phlebotomists.

I had a wonderful nurse explain it all to me once. Something about the stress causing adrenaline which ups the blood pressure and when you calm down it crashes the blood pressure. So if you're like me and you can avoid the initial stress, you should be fine.

I take a book or a friend to chat with. Being good and distracted makes it all better.

My problem this time of year is trying to figure out where the cold left off and where the sinus issues begin. I've still got a cough, and I won't donate until I'm sure it's just sinuses.

For me it's not stress, it's that I bleed really, really fast. Which can be kind of funny -- one time I was in line to give blood and the two guys right in front of me were going to have a race. They talked the attendents into sticking them at the exact same time, and when I went in they were frantically squeezing the little rubber balls trying to make the blood come out as fast as they could. I walked in, sat down, they hooked me up and I was done before either of them had their bags 3/4 full. My usual blood pressure is also on the low end of normal.

What helps me not get dizzy and turn green afterwards (which happened the first time I donated) is to have an ice pack on the back of my neck, drink while donating, and get up slowly afterwards. I just warn the staff while they're bringing me in and they take care of it. Haven't had a problem since that first time.

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rivka
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Your blood pressure is low and you bleed quickly? Isn't that usually the opposite of how it works?
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kmbboots
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My blood pressure tends to be low and I bleed quickly, too. It doesn't make me dizzy, though.

Maybe both are symptoms of good veins?

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rivka
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Vein elasticity, anyway.
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Carrie
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I'm also a low blood pressure quick bleeder. [Smile]
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Uprooted
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I had a terrible experience once at a hospital; it may have been my first time (second at most) and I ended up with this enormous horrible bruise. I didn't donate for years after that. But when I started the job that sponsored the drives on-site, and I got my courage up. The Red Cross people were always great; upbeat and skilled, and I never had any more big bruises (I have easy veins to find, I've learned).

The one thing I did learn to do to improve the experience was to be very hydrated beforehand; it made my bleeding much faster.

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kmbboots
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I imagine it varies. The last time I donated for Red Cross, they broke two needles and splattered my nice new white linen shirt with blood. Not a disaster, I demanded lots of cold water and paper towels and managed to soak it out before it stained. The hospital where I donate is great! They use the one-arm machines for platelets (a big difference from the two arm machines), they feed me, they chairs are very comfy, and are about as nice as anyone could wish.
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Mrs.M
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I'm a low blood pressure slow bleeder. I'm on some kind of no-donate list b/c I've fainted every single time I've given blood. I try to go to different places with varying degrees of success.

I've found that skill varies widely and there's no way to predict who will be good. The best stick ever is the lab tech at my OB's office and the second best is one of my hospital's full-time phlebotomists. One of the other phlebotomists there was so awful that I asked the nurses if they could make sure I never had her again (which they did discreetly).

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The Genuine
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I'm a high pressure, great big veins, slow bleeder. It makes no sense. I must be dehydrated.
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rivka
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Big veins does not mean elastic veins.
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The Genuine
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I figured it would be sized that mattered, not the ability to achieve a size.
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rivka
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You would think that. [Razz] However, I can see no reason for it to be true.
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Ela
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
quote:
Originally posted by Ela:
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
I really wish I could donate - I have a desired blood type, and I have absolutely no issues with needles or lack of iron or anything like that. Sadly, it seems the medical profession has a bias against irregular clotting in the blood going to trauma victims - who would have guessed? My husband is also out, since he had jaundice from water contamination as a child. He's still eligible to be a bone marrow donor (I'm not), so he's getting signed up for that.

Guess it's going to have to be organs or medical science for me, and hopefully no time soon.

Such a bias makes perfect sense to me.
... it was a joke.
You forgot the winkie. [Wink]

One can never tell around here. I've seen some silly things posted in all seriousness. [Razz]

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Sterling
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Sure, okay, it's been a while. I'll see what I can do. [Smile]
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brojack17
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I used to donate regularly. I have a one gallon pin from the Red Cross and another one gallon pin from Gulf Coast Blood Center in Houston. I have also donated to specific events (one boy of a guy I worked with was having surgery, my wife having a baby and needing a transfusion during her second delivery, and my grandmother's surgery) I haven't donated in quite awhile though. I think maybe three years.

I work from home and don't host blood drives here. [Smile]

This might be a good reason to get me back in though.

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