February 25, 2009

Today I gave the gift of life … I donated blood!

The Military Police Battalion where I work hosted a blood and plasma drive today. I actually donated plasma, but the fact is, I donated. Having spent so much time at the hospital with George’s dad I was reminded of how important it is to give when we can. Something so simple can be a lifesaving change for someone else.

I’ve given blood before, actually used to do it regularly through college, but it was the first time that I’d given plasma. It wasn’t any more painful that giving blood, in fact they used a smaller needle. As long as I don’t look at the needle, I’m fine. they actually teased me because I had a small lap blanket in my office and my Zune, so after they told me that it would take 30-60 minutes, I went to my office and got my blanket and music, then I kicked off my shoes, climbed on the chair and got settled. Having a roomful of comical Soldiers tends to help ease the tension too.

They hooked me up to a machine that drew my blood out then separated the plasma and then returned the remaining blood to me … it left red and came back clear … Weird!!! It was pretty cool to watch though!

After I finished, I went back to the office, a little curious, so I “Google-d” while eating lunch.

Did you know: Human plasma is an essential starting material for therapies that treat patients with serious rare, chronic, and often genetic diseases such as hemophilia, primary immunodeficiency, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and autoimmune and neurological disorders. Plasma is also used to treat individuals during major surgery, who have sustained burns or are suffering from trauma.

Here are the facts about plasma:
~ It takes 130 plasma donations to manufacture enough therapy to keep one patient with primary immunodeficiency healthy for one year.
~ Serum albumin and fibrin, two proteins found in plasma, have powerful anti-shock and blood clotting effects, and are credited with saving countless lives of soldiers wounded on the battlefield during World War II (WWII). They continue to help wounded soldiers fighting in the war in Iraq today.
~ On average, a plasma donor gives .8 liter of plasma per visit.
~ Plasma-derived therapies and therapies made using recombinant DNA technology are referred to collectively as plasma protein therapies

Here are the facts about blood:
~ One out of three people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime.
~ All blood donors are important, but if you are type O or AB, you are special because type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma can be transfused to any patient.
~ The average adult has 10 to 12 pints of blood in their body
~ Your one donation can save up to 3 lives!
~ No valid substitute for blood so when you need it the only place to get it is from other human beings
~ Every 3 seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion, that's 16 people every minute, 960 every hour; 23,040 every day, or 8,409,600 every year
~ You can give whole blood every 56 days, single platelets every 48 hours, or a single plasma donation every 28 days

Does Your Blood Type Reveal Your Personality?
According to a Japanese institute that does research on blood types, there are certain personality traits that seem to match up with certain blood types. How do you rate?
~ Type O: You want to be a leader, and when you see something you want, you keep striving until you achieve your goal. You are a trend-setter, loyal, passionate, and self-confident. Your weaknesses include vanity and jealously and a tendency to be too competitive.
~ Type A: You like harmony, peace and organization. You work well with others, and are sensitive, patient and affectionate. Among your weaknesses are stubbornness and an inability to relax.
~ Type B: You're a rugged individualist, who's straight forward and like to do things your own way. Creative and flexible, you adapt easily to any situation. But your insistence on being independent can sometimes go too far and become a weakness.

Until our next cup of tea ...

4 Tea Party Guest:

Vee said...

Good for you! I have such a bad habit of passing out that I no longer donate, but I so admire those who do.

Thanks for the interesting bit about blood type, too. :>

lime said...

good for you. i was a regular donor until anemia and a couple medications took me out of the mix. even got my 5 gallon pin.

stitcherw said...

As others said, good for you. This is such an important thing for people who can to do. In our area there always seems to be a shortage. Which reminds me, I really need to get back in. Congrats too on your earlier post on hitting the 125 lb mark. That's quite an accomplishment. You've been quite focused to do that and the running as well.

ABW said...

Good for you! I apparently can't give blood since we were in Germany prior to 1996, but I would if I could!