- the last time I weighed 110lbs was in 4th grade or so
- no tattoos
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?
- no drugs
I'll chalk it up to 'Wait 12 months after close contact with someone who is sick with viral hepatitis. Close contact is defined as ... sharing the same ... dormitory', or to 'Wait 12 months after returning from a trip to an area where malaria is found.'
For those who have given blood, if I may, I'd like to ask a few questions.
How long does it take to give blood? While I know this sounds lame, I'll ask anyway. How painful is it? I must admit, I'm a bit scared of needles. Is it better to go to a hospital or to the local Red Cross? Is there a third alternative? I do not know my blood type; will they require I know it in advance?
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">How long does it take to give blood? How painful is it?</font>
It feels much like a regular injection. The only painful part is when the needle punctures your skin. You might then feel slightly uneasy while the blood is extracted (for a minute or so?), but this is mostly psychological.
Remember to eat well and not exercise strenuously afterwards.
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Figure a half hour or so total: 10 minutes for screening, 20 for the donation itself. Depending where you go, when you go, and whether they do appointments, you may need to add for a wait.
The pre-donation exam consists of taking your blood pressure and temperature; *****ing your finger for a drop of blood for the iron test; and a long questionaire (about 60 questions).
Here in Dallas, there are 2 main agencies, red cross and carter bloodcare. At the red cross here in Dallas, you don't get your iron level. They just see if a drop of blood sinks, so all you know is whether your iron is too low or not. I know Carter used to mail you your cholesterol, I don't know if they still do, but red cross doesn't.
Over the last two decades, the list of folks who shouldn't donate has grown, now including travel restrictions (due to both AIDS and Mad Cow), new drug prohibitions (Accutane, Propecia), and AIDS risk factors. This makes it all the more important that those of us who can donate, so.
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Regarding where to give blood...many hospitals no longer accept donations, so you do have to go to "the blood bank." One wonderful advantage of the donor center is that those folks stick hundreds of people a week and they are very good with a needle.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Comicwoman: One wonderful advantage of the donor center is that those folks stick hundreds of people a week and they are very good with a needle.</font>
CW beat me to it - but I have been giving blood for many years and it's true those folks do it all day long. I ALWAYS ask for the most experienced technician when I donate. I politely say I am very anxious (not exactly true) and I prefer not to have any trainees take my blood. It takes me about 20 minutes and it is relatively painless - I hate shots but I don;t mind giving blood. And everyone is SO appreciative !!
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It's not painful other than a pinch (twice, see the iron test).
You do not have to know your blood type; they will let you know what it is by mail. I determined my own long ago - now that was fun!
I won't lie: the needle used to draw the blood is a little larger gauge than needles that may have been used to draw your blood in the past, but it is bearable. Plus, you get all kinds of treats after you donate!
Plan on 25-40 minutes for entry to exit as you'll want to sit and eat/drink something for a few minutes before you go. You may feel lightheaded after donating but that is normal. I haven't seen anyone faint but it does happen occasionally. There is someone there to walk you from the donation area to the feasting area so you don't really have to worry about fainting.
It's a great community service that benefits many people. It's also addictive. After you do it once, you start looking forward to your next eligible donation date. You may give blood every 56 days.
I usually give at my local hospital. The benefit of giving to a hospital is that they DON'T have to pay a blood bank for the blood. After I found that out, I stopped giving at the blood bank.
They'll tell you what blood type you are. A donor card arrives in the mail with this info.
I forgot to mention the best part... they give you drinks, no...not that, and plenty of sugary food. Now if only they gave Krispy Kreme's