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PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: DavidS
Date: January 13, 2022 01:36PM
The American Red Cross has announced a crisis of low blood supply to be used for donations. Due to Covid-19, donation drives have frequently been cancelled, and people have not been donating like they have previously. If you've ever needed a blood transfusion, or know someone who has, you know how important this is.

National Blood Crisis

I donated 3 times last year, most recently on Dec 28. I've already made my next appointment for the first week of March. It's simple, easy, and really does not hurt that bad. Your donation will be helping many others. I've made a commitment to donate 3-4 times/year and hope you will to. Thanks.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2022 01:37PM by DavidS.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: freeradical
Date: January 13, 2022 01:44PM
I'd like to, but the Red Cross forbids me to. It has to do with mad cow disease. I spent too much time in Europe and the UK at the wrong times to qualify to give blood. I find this kind of surprising considering how many Americans must be in the same boat so to speak. Also, I don't even know if they have ever proven causality between British beef and mad cow disease. From what I understand, a small percentage of people simply develop the problems that mad cow disease causes even if they've never been exposed to the prions that allegedly cause it. The difficulty lies in identifying excess cases. It's kind of a signal to noise ratio thing. Oh well...
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: Gareth
Date: January 13, 2022 01:55PM
I donate about as often as I can and can conveniently schedule it. So about every 10 weeks or so, since 8 weeks is the minimum between donations but it's hard to donate on exactly that schedule. Although between donating that often and eating less red meat, I've learned that my iron level is often right on the cusp and was too low once, so I now take some iron supplements before and after the donation.

If you don't want to go as often but want to maximize your donation, opt for the Power Red, which takes twice the red blood cells but you keep the other parts (plasma)? Then you can donate 3 times a year and have the same impact as someone donating 6 times a year. It does take longer at the donation site, but between the initial screening, set-up and post donation wait time, in the end, it doesn't seem like that much longer.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: DavidS
Date: January 13, 2022 02:06PM
Quote
Gareth
If you don't want to go as often but want to maximize your donation, opt for the Power Red, which takes twice the red blood cells but you keep the other parts (plasma)? Then you can donate 3 times a year and have the same impact as someone donating 6 times a year. It does take longer at the donation site, but between the initial screening, set-up and post donation wait time, in the end, it doesn't seem like that much longer.

Thank you for adding this info. I've thought about doing the Power Red, but since I scheduled my appointments during my lunch break, I did not think I'd have time. Good to know that it does not take that much longer.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: Gareth
Date: January 13, 2022 02:18PM
Quote
DavidS
Quote
Gareth
If you don't want to go as often but want to maximize your donation, opt for the Power Red, which takes twice the red blood cells but you keep the other parts (plasma)? Then you can donate 3 times a year and have the same impact as someone donating 6 times a year. It does take longer at the donation site, but between the initial screening, set-up and post donation wait time, in the end, it doesn't seem like that much longer.

Thank you for adding this info. I've thought about doing the Power Red, but since I scheduled my appointments during my lunch break, I did not think I'd have time. Good to know that it does not take that much longer.

Next time you go, you should ask them what the time "on the machine" is to make sure it'll fit in if you do have a time constraint. Unlike a regular donation, which can vary a little in time depending on how fast your blood flows (I'm pretty quick), the Power Red is almost a fixed duration because the machine processes the blood and sends the plasma back. But the newer machines have less cycles (take the blood out, separate it, send the plasma back, repeat), so I think they're quicker than the old ones.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 13, 2022 02:18PM
They're doing a Super Bowl ticket giveaway along with other prizes for anyone donating during January.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: hal
Date: January 13, 2022 03:26PM
[www.youtube.com]

Give Blood - live

Pete Townshend with David Gilmour and Simon Phillips
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 13, 2022 03:45PM
I give platelets, because I can (unlike my wife and many other women who have carried a pregnancy), because I can do so every week (although I’m more like every 3 or so), and because they need a constant supply, since they outdate in less than a week. It takes a couple of hours each time hooked up to a pheresis machine, but I’m retired so that’s not a problem, and I see more movies that way. wink smiley

But the local American Red Cross got so f’ed up by the pandemic I gave up on them. Couldn’t get appointments anymore (even though they were great at sending emails and phone calls saying how desperate the need was). If you did get an appointment, sometimes they would cancel you abruptly because no staff. One time they had already hooked me up (two needles/IV lines) after thirty minutes of screening, and the machine didn’t work. Go home, they said.

>: /

Anyway, the other side of town has another blood bank, not ARC, but same deal (non-profit, etc). They’ve done much better so far.

Obviously, YMMV. But locally, it’s been a mess.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: jonny
Date: January 13, 2022 04:25PM
Giving tomorrow. Tons of appts. in SF.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 13, 2022 05:20PM
This is the first year in more than a decade that I can donate. Usually, I'm disqualified because we go to Central America. I haven't been in the last two years, so I can give again.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: vicrock
Date: January 13, 2022 06:14PM
Quote
freeradical
I'd like to, but the Red Cross forbids me to. It has to do with mad cow disease. I spent too much time in Europe and the UK at the wrong times to qualify to give blood. I find this kind of surprising considering how many Americans must be in the same boat so to speak. Also, I don't even know if they have ever proven causality between British beef and mad cow disease. From what I understand, a small percentage of people simply develop the problems that mad cow disease causes even if they've never been exposed to the prions that allegedly cause it. The difficulty lies in identifying excess cases. It's kind of a signal to noise ratio thing. Oh well...

I was in that boat for many years, but recently the ban was lifted for me - if you want to donate, it is worth checking. I had been a 5 gallon donor before they suddenly disallowed me - now back to regular donation schedule.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 13, 2022 06:21PM
Quote
pdq
I give platelets, because I can (unlike my wife and many other women who have carried a pregnancy)

Huh??

I was giving frequently up until the holidays. I also give platelets but recently had a mishap - the needle started to work its way out. They weren't able to return the blood, some portion of a regular donation. (10%?) but they count it as a full red blood donation. I can still donate platelets BUT I need to be hooked up to two needles - one in each arm. Its basically twice the pain. I can return to a normal single needle after 56 days have passed.

Anyway, have something picked out on netflix before you arrive.



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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: January 13, 2022 07:27PM
People appear to be rising to the occasion around here.

I just checked for appointments at all of the donation centers within 10 miles and there's nothing available until February 9th.



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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: pqrst
Date: January 14, 2022 10:59AM
If you’ve not allowed to give blood in the past, I would either try again, the standards change over time or see if a local hospital has a blood donor center and try there. It comes as a surprise to many, that there are a lot of other places you can donate blood at (and I’m not talking about those for profit plasma centers).
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 14, 2022 12:40PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
pdq
I give platelets, because I can (unlike my wife and many other women who have carried a pregnancy)

Huh??

Many (most?) women who have carried a pregnancy develop (IIRC) antibodies against foreign white cell or HLA antigens, and this can cause a rare but sometimes life-threatening post-transfusion complication in some recipients called TRALI. Since the blood fraction that contains platelets also contains these things, they screen for them in donors, and if they find them, you are permanently deferred from platelet donation (like my wife). But you can still give blood.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: JoeM
Date: January 14, 2022 12:59PM
Quote
hal
[www.youtube.com]

Give Blood - live

Pete Townshend with David Gilmour and Simon Phillips

LOL, you beat me to it!



JoeM
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: DavidS
Date: January 14, 2022 01:25PM
Quote
JoeM
Quote
hal
[www.youtube.com]

Give Blood - live

Pete Townshend with David Gilmour and Simon Phillips

LOL, you beat me to it!

I was actually going to post this with my original post, but I figured I'd leave it open for Newt to add. Alas, I'm glad someone replied this way.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: hal
Date: January 14, 2022 04:09PM
it's one of my favorite live performances of anyone anywhere - I couldn't pass up an opportunity to post it again...

I STILL HAVE the original video tape - one of the few video tapes that I kept because it wasn't very widely distributed and never released on DVD (afaik)
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: tronnei
Date: January 14, 2022 05:07PM
I'm a 10 gallon donor, but no longer welcome. I had a false positive for something when they tested my last donation. They sent me a letter saying not to worry, the test result was bad, I didn't actually have whatever it was they tested for, no follow-up with my doctor was needed. But they were clear that I was to never donate again.
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Re: PSA - Give Blood!
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 15, 2022 08:08AM
Quote
tronnei
I'm a 10 gallon donor, but no longer welcome. I had a false positive for something when they tested my last donation. They sent me a letter saying not to worry, the test result was bad, I didn't actually have whatever it was they tested for, no follow-up with my doctor was needed. But they were clear that I was to never donate again.

That sucks. I think they tend to go overboard on deferrals, to the detriment of the supply of donors, often for very-low-probability reasons.

I once got deferred for a year for going on a 1-week vacay to Tamarindo (beach) in Costa Rica, for malaria risk. While they do see malaria in the east of Costa Rica, it is pretty rare to non-existent on the west coast, particularly in the dry season (which is when I went). We never saw a single mosquito. Also, transfusion-related malaria is vanishingly rare, and treatable.

But they classified by the country, not the specific location, at least at that time.
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