One of the most useful things we can do for sick patients is to donate blood.
The process is fairly simple. First, you answer a series of screening questions on the computer screen. Then, a nurse reviews your history and checks your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature). Once you pass all those tests, you get to recline in the lounge chair. The friendly nurse thoroughly cleanses your inner elbow and efficiently inserts the needle into the large vein that waits just under the skin.
That’s when the easy part begins.
You just relax and bleed into the tubing for a while until you give your fill. When you get to that goal line, the needle is removed and you are carefully bandaged. You will then be directed to the refreshment area, where you can drink your (re-)fill and snack on pretzels, crackers, or cookies.
One of the perquisites of the process is meeting some of the nicest people around — like Jerry…
Once your blood is on its way, it will be processed to help patients who need it. For example, patients suffering blood loss from trauma have an immediate need. Hemophilia patients benefit from the cryoprecipitate portion — where the clotting factors are. Sickle cell anemia patients can escape an excruciatingly painful crisis with the help of your red blood cells. Someone with thrombocytopenia could avoid dangerous bleeding with the help of your platelets. And cancer patients have various hematologic needs.
If you have never donated, give it a try. If you have donated before, do it again soon!
For more information, or to schedule an appointment to donate:
Central Blood Bank
Read more Reflections Of A Grinder from Dr. Donnelly here.