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Nov 01 2012

FTB reader/regular on what blood means to the Red Cross

^^DONATE TO STORM VICTIMS^^

Short at the beginning of the month? Bood donations to the Red Cross are your proxy for cash, they turn it into money to help victims of disasters like Sandy. And one FTB regular reminds us that blood means way more for some people:

About a decade ago my young daughter came down with a rare condition that could be treated with a blood product that required 6000 pints of blood… She recovered. If you’ve ever given blood, thank you. You may well have contributed to my daughter’s recovery. Before that event, I was lackadasical about donating blood regularly. I haven’t missed an opportunity since then. I’m O+. I do “double reds” every 112 days. I need to live another 910 years before I will have replaced those 6000 donations.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    Neil Rickert

    I think you have a spelling error in the title.

  2. 2
    michaeld

    and the second line.

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    I do find “bood” somewhat amusing, though.

    My late mother was kept alive for 2-1/2 years by transfusions, on average a unit a week. I’m gradually making that up but it’ll take me a while yet.

    Blood donations here are not handled by the Red Cross. I’m rather glad of that as I have mixed feelings about the agency. The statement they turn blood donations into cash is just one of the reasons.

  4. 4
    Randomfactor

    My late wife, too, received many transfusions and blood products. Never be able to pay it all back but I’ll die trying. Two more weeks until my next donation…

    While you’re there, ask about getting on the bone marrow list. Sometimes it costs you, sometimes there’s a fund. Got a heads-up two years ago (although it fell through.)

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    But what does bood mean to me? I don’t understand!

    Wait – is that some sort of major OS vendor’s “autocorrect”?

    Hells yeah, give blood. And I’ll also work on giving bood once I know what it is. I’ll give good bood.

  6. 6
    Mara

    When my son was born, I started to bleed out on the operating table. I received four units of whole blood that day and I just finished making those up.

    My youngest brother-in-law was hit by a cab and lost both legs below the knee. Over the course of the last six months, he’s received something like 70 units of blood. The family’s been working hard to replace those plus some extra.

    I knew giving blood was important but it really hits home when it’s yourself or someone you love.

  7. 7
    Rob

    Yup, very worthwhile thing to do. I visit the NZ Blood Service every 3 months. Least I can do given that I’ve had two family members saved by donations.

    I can’t support the idea enough. It makes the biggest and most direct impact on the recipients life imaginable.

  8. 8
    emburii

    I try to give every 56 days (just gave yesterday for a prescheduled appointment). I haven’t had a family member that needed blood products, but O- is too useful not to donate anyway.
    I actually have scar tissue on the insides of my elbow that they usually draw from, which is starting to make it painful because they’re really rough with the needle at the place I go to. But it’s only a minor inconvenience for a major benefit to someone else. *mutters and rubs bruise anyway*

  9. 9
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I’d love to give blood, but I’m banned for two (one probably good, one stupid) reasons.

    1) I have had sex with a man (I’m a male-bodied trans woman)

    2) I lived in Germany during the Creutzfeld-Jakobs disease thing

  10. 10
    busterggi

    Its easy, relatively painless and you get free cranberry juice afterwards.

    Got my 10 gallon pin first weekend last month.

  11. 11
    Gregory in Seattle

    I wish I could give blood. But as a gay man, it is illegal for me to do so in the United States, and I refuse to lie on the questionaire.

  12. 12
    Kevin

    @3.

    EVERY blood collection agency turns blood into cash, except perhaps in China where the government controls everything.

    What in the world would you expect? That all of the people who organize blood drives, man blood drives, test blood, store blood, and deliver blood to hospitals (and on and on) would work for free?

    Get your head on straight. It takes a LOT of person-power to collect blood. And a LOT of consumable materials (needles, bags, tubes) that are only used once, then discarded. You think those things are free? This isn’t the Star Trek universe, you know.

    How in the world else would it be possible without the hospitals paying for the blood collection services? Seriously, think about it for two seconds.

    BTW: The Red Cross isn’t the only group doing blood collections. There are for-profit groups that compete for blood, and for hospital contracts. Which would you prefer collect blood? A non-profit or a for-profit company?

    Sometimes, people speak without giving the first thought to what they’re saying.

  13. 13
    Trebuchet

    @12: My doubts about the Red Cross are based on other stuff, not really the blood thing. Their behavior post-9/11 among other things, when they were collecting money that was going elsewhere, is one of them.

    My mother, whom I mentioned, actually worked for them before her retirement. She wasn’t impressed.

  14. 14
    Peter the Mediocre

    I donated very regularly until the Red Cross sent me a letter saying that because of test results (liver enzymes) they didn’t want mine anymore. The first line of the letter was “This Letter is not about AIDS”. That was over 20 years ago, and my liver and I are still fine, thank you very much.
    I first donated at the request of a coworker whose wife was having surgery. At the time, at University Hospital in Columbus, OH, one option after your donation was a shot of bourbon. I always went with tomato juice, not because I like it (I don’t) but because it’s the right color, which I know now and knew then meant nothing at all except that it seemed appropriate.

  15. 15
    Anthony K

    I actually have scar tissue on the insides of my elbow that they usually draw from, which is starting to make it painful because they’re really rough with the needle at the place I go to.

    The Canadian Blood Centre people here in Edmonton are pretty good. I’ve got major scar tissue on the inside of my right elbow too from giving plasma, but the veins on my left arm aren’t very good for drawing.

  16. 16
    Worldtraveller

    I haven’t actually given blood in the past, but I’ve recently been called as a potential bone marrow donor, and it got me thinking. Next time there’s a drive here (my employer has one at least quarterly), I will probably donate.

  17. 17
    twincats

    I lived in Germany during the Creutzfeld-Jakobs disease thing

    I have the same problem; I was stationed in Italy and Turkey (USAF) during that time frame.

    Up until the Red Cross decided I was too much of a risk, I was a regular donor. I give whatever $$ I can spare when there’s a disaster, though.

  18. 18
    Nepenthe

    I’m thrilled that I recently became healthy enough (damn you anemia) to donate. It’s probably not all that great an idea on the personal level since I’m not that healthy, but hey, I’m O-, it’s practically a moral obligation. (And they’ll keep calling anyway.)

  19. 19
    Rob

    EVERY blood collection agency turns blood into cash, except perhaps in China where the government controls everything.

    Ummm, not so. In New Zealand NZ Blood Service collects blood, distributes whole blood and locally processed products around hospitals as needed. Blood for more complex processing is shipped to Australia where it is processed and the resulting speciality products sent back to NZ Blood for distribution. Donors are not paid, hospitals do not pay. I suspect this model is true of many (ex)commonwealth counties with a largely ‘British’ style of health care system.

    This is not an attack. Just a reminder that there are other economic and social models than the US one and communism!

  20. 20
    Rob

    Blockquote fail. The first paragraph in #19 is a quote from Kevin @ #12.

  21. 21
    left0ver1under

    Kevin (#12) says:

    EVERY blood collection agency turns blood into cash, except perhaps in China where the government controls everything.

    I don’t know about you, but mainland China is the last place I’d want to be receiving or donating blood. The PRC government caused the “AIDS village” to happen after the risks of “blood pooling” were already known.

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200511/04/eng20051104_219069.html

    Myself, I live in Taiwan, and foreigners are not allowed to donate here, despite the fact that people can only get work visas after a health check which includes testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other diseases. We’re actually better tested than the citizens, but can’t donate. Go figure.

    As for the Red Cross, disaster relief is worth supporting because at least it’s a secular organization. But after the blood scandal in Canada – and the failure to convict or imprison any of those responsible – I’m a little lacking in trust.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/taintedblood/bloodscandal_timeline.html

  22. 22
    Avicenna

    I required around 2 units of packed platelets to save my life from Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever. It’s around 10 litres of blood…

    Give blood, not just in the USA but across the globe. If you are in India and have the B -ve blood type? Give! We are usually have shortages.

  23. 23
    Argle Bargle

    I’m not allowed to give blood in the US because I lived in Britain for two years after 1980. Apparently I’m a Mad Cow Disease carrier. I wonder how the British blood services get around this prohibition or if they just ignore it.

  24. 24
    Nick Gotts

    I’m not allowed to give blood in the US because I lived in Britain for two years after 1980. Apparently I’m a Mad Cow Disease carrier. – Rodney Nelson

    This made sense at the time it was imposed, but I’d say it probably doesn’t now, as the feared epidemic in Britain has not materialised – total cases are less than 200 so far. There could be a further wave of cases, as people with different genetic constitution may have a longer latency (all cases so far have had two copies of a specific allele known to increase susceptibility to prion disease, as does about 40% of the population), but it’s unlikely to be more than the same sort of numbers.

    I wonder how the British blood services get around this prohibition or if they just ignore it.

    You can’t give blood if you have received a blood donation or had certain types of surgery in the past; apart from that, it’s ignored, otherwise we’d have to import all our blood, which would be costly, and have a higher risk from other infectious agents.

  25. 25
    neXus

    I just gave a donation last week. I’m O-, so it’s something I try and make a priority whenever the blood drives come to my campus.

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