Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Donation to the Blood Bank of Hawaii

Today I donated blood. I do this every so often....not as often as I used to....but once or twice or sometimes three times each year. My blood type is 0+.

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Lots of aloha from the Blood Bank staff

I made my donation at the roving Blood-Mobile that was visiting here in Mililani today.

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Just a little finger poke

After signing in and filling out all the forms I was ushered into a little room, asked some more questions and then checked to see how my hemoglobin (Iron) was doing. This meant a little finger poke and taking a drop of blood. This is then dropped into a liquid solution. If the blood clots and drops to the bottom your hemoglobin is sufficient and safe to donate. If it does not (and this happened to me once) then you are asked to go home for 4-8 weeks and increase your iron intake before coming back.

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All sterile and ready to go

Next, you get to lie down on a comfy couch where they prep your arm with an antiseptic solution (this is washed off later, before you leave).

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A bull's eye!

Then comes the needle poke. My nurse did a grand job. It slipped in painlessly, right in the vein the first try.

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Love and life to share

The blood then moves down a plastic tube into a plastic bag. This takes 5 to 15 minutes depending on how fast your blood flows! I was one of the faster ones today, draining out my pint in 5 minutes.

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Yep, it looks red to me!

After the bag is filled, a (in my case) five small test tubes are filled up with blood for testing. They check for SARS, AIDS, Syphillus and many other blood-transmitible organisms and conditions. By the time your blood is used to help someone else, it has been rigorously tested and declared to be very, very safe.

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What I have, I give to you

After this, they make you stay put for a short while, reclining on the "couch" and drinking water or juice to re-hydrate.

When it's time to leave you are offered a snack/treat (I took a couple of cookies) and another drink.

Two months later, you can come back and do it again!

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You can read more about the Blood Bank of Hawaii at its web page

If you have never given blood before, do so. I have never had any after-effects and you probably won't either!

If you have not donated blood in a long time, set up an appointment with your local blood bank.

Someone you may or may not know will be very glad you did.
HT to the Blood-Mobile staff and for their cooperation in granting me permission to take the photos today.