I've also been a regular donor (B+) for many years. In the past year the Red Cross has identified me as having an excess of platelets (who knew?).
In a standard whole-blood donation, platelets, red blood cells, plasma, etc. are centrifuged apart and mixed with those of other same-type donors (it takes platelets from three donors to equal one "dose" of platelets for a leukemia or chemotherapy patient). During a platelet donation, enough are taken from a single donor to equal the amount needed to treat the patient. The good thing is that recovery time before donating again is shorter (less than two weeks); the downside is that the donation takes up to two hours, so at the DC donor center, we get to choose a movie to watch during the process!
I think donating blood is a wonderful thing, but I won't do it. In the past whenever I have had blood drawn for a test, I have jut about fainted. I get pale as a ghost and ... well it isn't a pretty sight. There is no reason for it other than that I am a wimp, the sight of blood makes me sick, and then knowing there is a tube of it being drawn out of my arm make...ugh see even now...can't think about it..
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I donated once and I didn't feel well afterwards. It was not psychological because it didn't bother me but I think it may have to do with being hypoglycemic (the opposite of diabetes) although it didn't say anything about that being a problem. I should try it again.
When I lived in NYC I gave blood approx. every 56 days at work. They had a blood drive every couple months. I'm O+ and CMV- (CMV is some kind of virus that a majority of the population has. Totally harmless for most people but blood with CMV can't be used for infants, pregnant women, or people with compromised immune systems) so they LOVE my blood and used to call me before every blood drive. It's a great feeling and any little bruise or slight pinch is well worth it.
Want to say thanks to everyone who has given blood since you saved my grandmother's life many years ago when she had to have several pints transfused.
Haven't been able to give since moving to Spain since I get rejected as a foreigner and will probably now get rejected if I try to give in the US for having spent too much time in Europe
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In New York, is it safer to go directly to a hospital, a blood bank, or the Red Cross? Perhaps it does not matter. From what I'm reading, I'd rather give to where my blood isn't sold to those who need it. I guess I'm leaning toward the hospital? I just want to make sure everything is super-clean and that no needles are reused.
I so understand pointsgirl's hesitations. I feel the exact same way about needles and blood.
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Sadly, I am not allowed to give blood for now, due do some medications I am taking. I was able to give in high school for our blood drives, and in fact, we had a scheduled blood drive on 9/11/01 at school...
My dad gives Pherisis a few times a year as needed.
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