Wednesday, March 19

double reds

Earlier today, I did my first-ever "double red" donation, and it went well enough that I may do it again.

As explained on Carter Bloodcare's website:
"Unlike a traditional whole blood donation, Double Red Cell Collection (2RBC) allows the donor to safely give two units of red blood cells, instead of just one. The process separates blood into its components while it is being drawn. Because only red blood cells are being collected, enough can be collected for two red cell transfusions. The remaining components are returned to the donor. The collection procedure takes just 20 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and can be performed every four months. 2RBC donors must meet certain height and weight requirements, as well as routine donor criteria"
Once I'd completed the usual (CBT) pre-screening questionnaire, and hemoglobin test, and body temperature, and blood pressure check, I was plugged into a Most Splendid Machine which did the 2RBC described above. All told, I was there about 65 minutes.

Advantage #0: only red bloodcells are extracted during this procedure; you're compensated with an anticoagulant and returned plasma. My system didn't seemed as "shocked" as during a whole-blood donation (although my most common side-effect has been that hematoma bruise, which I try to mitigate by drinking lots of water before donating .. making my vein easier to find).

Advantage #1: the phlebotomist assigned to this device is the senior one (sort of like asking for The Head Barber), so the chances of Yet Another Hematoma are drastically reduced.

Advantage #2: being a sucker for technology, I enjoyed watching the monitoring device, which (among other things) accurately predicted the duration of my donation to within 60 seconds.

Advantage #3: a double-red donation doubles the interval between donations, from 8 to 16 weeks. They gave me "double the credits" per donation, so it'll mean that I'll be visiting 3 times/year instead of 6*
* technically, 3.25 times vs 6.5 times, but .. who's counting?
Finally, the phlebotomist "complimented me" on my high platelet count, and suggested I give a platelet donation at my next visit. Their website says platelet donations are possible every 2 weeks (and take 90 minutes) so I'd be badgered expected 24 times a year .. I think I'll pass on that. Well, maybe once .. but only if I get a really gooder commemorative T-shirt.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

Posts like this just make me see red...

I used to give blood regularly, as frequently as I was allowed to, going all the way back to 1970. Then about 10 years ago I was told that I could no longer be a donor, because I'd spent time in England during the "Mad Cow" scare. And my blood is relatively rare ("A positive"), so I know that they need me... but I'm "unclean". Aargh!!!