Blood Donation

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Do you give blood?

Yes, as regularly as they'll let me/I can
2
13%
Yes, sometimes
4
27%
I would but they won't let me
0
No votes
No, but I'd like to
7
47%
No, I won't
2
13%
 
Total votes: 15

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powerfulcheese04
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Blood Donation

Postby powerfulcheese04 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:05 pm

I gave blood today and the literature they make you read befor donation got me thinking...

(Apparently, only 5% of the US population gives blood. Half of that comes from repeat donors, which make up 1% of the US population.)



ETA: I gave blood the first time about 6 months ago as part of a blood drive in honor of a friend with leukemia. Turns out I'm O negative (universal donor, estimated to be about 6% of the US population) so they call me just about every 2-3 months and beg me to give.

I haven't really been eligible before then. In high school, I weighed too little. In college I struggled with anemia, then went to Africa and just finished the temporary deferment for that.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Petra456 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:34 pm

One of my goals is to give blood. I'm scared of needles and i've been really trying to work myself up to just go in and get it over with. Plus, I would like to know my blood type.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby powerfulcheese04 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:49 pm

At least for me, the needle sticks at the Red Cross have been some of the best ever. I think because it's pretty much all they do every day. Every blood draw I've ever had at a doctor's office has taken at least 2 sticks and been awful. At the RC, they poke around a lot with their fingers deciding where they're going to go and have to draw the vein on my skin with a surgical marker, but all 3 times they've hit it on the first try. Least painful and least bruising I've ever had even though they use the same size needle that we use in cows.

I just can't watch them actually poke my skin. They cover the needle itself with sterile gauze after it's in, so you don't see it. It can feel a little strange if you can feel the blood seeping out of your body. (I have not had that experience every time.)
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby elfprince13 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:57 pm

I feel like a bad person sometimes, but....I really can't deal with needles.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby LilBee91 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:04 pm

I just finished a blood banking class, so I feel especially guilty for not donating. I am just O pos, so I'm not that desirable. I tried a few times in high school, but I was a little too anemic. I have not yet tried in college, though I really should. Especially now that I am over my fear of needles, having been poked at least once a week by completely new phlebotomists-in-training, and poking people myself.

ETA, for those who care/don't know: O negs are the best. They're the default choice for emergency transfusions for women. Men and post-menopausal women can get O pos fine, but they really hate to give them to women whose blood type they don't know. There's a reason the Red Cross hounds you people: O neg blood cells are good as gold.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Wind Swept » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:53 am

I really want to start donating, but I hate, hate, hate getting blood drawn.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:32 am

I think I'm A Pos. I have a card and everything, so that when I donate, they just scan and...ask me a million questions anyway, like if I've been with a man who has had gay sex recently, if I've been out of the country, or if I've been out of the country with a bi-sexual man.


I don't mind the needles but I've been a bit donation shy since the last time I went, I had a bad reaction (my fault, not theirs).

I was staying with my dad for the week and his then wife wouldn't "let" him go to a Diamondbacks game with me, even though I was going to pay for it. I got pissed off, refused to eat all my salad dinner, then didn't eat much of a breakfast. I donated blood, wasn't pointed to the sugary stuff after, and headed right outside, where I first passed out, then stumbled to my dad's truck, where I threw up on the inside of the door before passing out again. They rushed me back inside and gave me a juice box and cookies while they monitored whether or not it was safe to send me back into the world. My dad felt bad, so he gave me a giraffe stuffed animal. Good times.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby LilBee91 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:18 am

Yea...I much prefer when they give you the questions in writing. There's something really frustrating about not being able say "I'm a virgin" and skip to question 22.

That sounds like a great donation experience, Alea. Vomiting, passing out, juice, cookies, AND a giraffe? Sounds like a winner to me.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Jayelle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:35 am


ETA, for those who care/don't know: O negs are the best. They're the default choice for emergency transfusions for women. Men and post-menopausal women can get O pos fine, but they really hate to give them to women whose blood type they don't know. There's a reason the Red Cross hounds you people: O neg blood cells are good as gold.

I'm O neg! I know my blood is really good, I should donate more. I've done it several times in the past, but in recent years between pregnancy and breastfeeding, I haven't done it, but this might be the kick in the pants I need to go again.
Needles used to really bother me, then I just kinda learned to turn my brain off and think of it as "hey, that's interesting." Now I don't mind them at all. As long as they can find a vein.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby elfprince13 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:04 pm

Needles used to really bother me, then I just kinda learned to turn my brain off and think of it as "hey, that's interesting." Now I don't mind them at all. As long as they can find a vein.
I can do that with almost everything but needles - they just really creep me out. I've had oral surgery a handful of times, for various reasons, and never once had them put me under, because the novocaine shots in the mouth bother me less than an IV in my arm (I think because the needle can't really "go in" very far in my mouth).
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:09 pm

Shots in the mouth and spinal taps are the only kinds of needles I fear, though I still allow the first to be done if necessary and have thankfully not needed the second in a decade.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby LilBee91 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:30 pm

Spinal taps terrify me. As to bone marrow biopsies. I hope to never have either. There are places needles do not belong, and my spine, bones, an eyeballs are foremost among them. But my arms? Poke away.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Wind Swept » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't mind the needles themselves. I just can't get over the idea that my blood, which belongs in my body, is being removed to excess. I mean, I know my body will make more, but that doesn't help at all to alleviate my terror.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Luet » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:08 pm

I am not afraid of needles at all (except for spinal taps, yikes!) but I don't give blood or take blood transfusions for religious reasons.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Eaquae Legit » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:35 pm

After all the needles I had expecting Nom, I'm mostly over my fear of them. I don't know if I can donate while breastfeeding, though.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Rei » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:45 pm

I'm kind of severely phobic. My dad gives nearly as often as they'll let him (low iron is often an issue, though) and my sister tries to make it out, too. My other sister is debatabley more phobic of needle-like things in the arm than I am.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby LilBee91 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:58 pm

As far as I understand blood banking rules (at least in America), you can donate while breast feeding if it's more than six weeks since you were pregnant. Well, they don't ask any questions about it, so I assume it's okay. Rules in the UK may be different though.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Boothby » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:00 pm

I normally hate needles, but I've learned to look away. I MUST look away, or I get the cold sweats. Not a pleasant sensation. So, I look away, and let myself be distracted, and it's all OK. Actually....an iPad would be good for this.

I've got great veins in my arms, so it makes the nurse's job a little easier.

I had surgery a little while ago, which precludes me from donating for another year , but when I'm cleared, I plan on donating again.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Carly. » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:57 pm

I'd like to give blood, but, I'm pretty sure I don't weigh enough, and I'd probably end up passing out, partially because I've developed a fear of needles. I had to have some blood taken once for a routine checkup when I was switching doctors, and I swear the nurse must never have taken blood in her life. It was me and my younger brother, and my mom made me go first; my brother was afraid of it, and my mom wanted to prove to him that it wouldn't be that bad. So, I had to do my best to act like I wasn't in agonizing pain as the nurse pretty much dug the needle around in my vein for a bit, and squeezed my arm, and I'm pretty sure nearly pushed an air bubble up into my vein. Fun times. I had a giant bruise around my elbow for at least a couple of weeks afterwards.

We subsequently decided not to switch to that doctor.

But yeah, ever since then... the thought of having blood drawn makes me a bit queasy.

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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Dr. Mobius » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:45 am

I donated once when I was in high school and there was a blood drive at the school. That day was notable because it was stormy and shortly after I finished a tornado destroyed the trailer park and county highway garage about a mile down the road from the school.

I haven't donated since, mostly because I just never think about it. It's one of those things on an unfortunately very long list of things that I would like or need to do but don't because I don't have time when I think of it and don't think of it when I have time.
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Re: Blood Donation

Postby Bean_wannabe » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:11 am

I was always terrified of the prospect, as the idea of someone just taking blood from your arm through a tube seemed really nasty. However, as part of a medical trial I'm in I've had a fair amount taken and it's never been particularly painful. Except from the one time they used a different vein and had to wiggle the needle around to get it to work - not fun. I'll probably give it a go as soon as I get the all-clear.
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