questionsdo you donate blood?

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I have several times, but I haven't in a long while. Need to go back and do that again. Thanks for the reminder.

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Oh, and as for my experience... it's not too bad, the needle is big, and gives you a nice pinch when they insert it. Other than that, you just sit there and squeeze a stress ball til they collect your pint.

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Both blood and sweat every day at the office.

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@kschom: LOL, yes those too. That's the extent of the body fluids that I donate at work.

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My best friend and I would give all the time in High School and college. Unfortunately, I run to the anemic side and get very light-headed after giving blood but let me sleep for a couple of hours and I am as good as new.

Free cookies and OJ!

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Came in here half expecting to see a bunch of women posting they donate blood once a month whether they want to or not.

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I have an issue with fainting (in that I tend to do it), so I prefer to donate platelets rather than whole blood. You can donate more often (every two weeks) and you don't feel lousy afterwards. It does take a bit more time, but not all that much longer.

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i've donated blood and platelets a few dozen times. never had any issues.

with blood donation, i'm usually done in about 20-30 minutes depending how busy the place is. platelets, usually 1.5 hours. i've never had any side effects with either.

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I do, every 56ish days. I get paid time away from the office for blood donation, and free cookies and a t-shirt afterword. Also, I get the warm fuzzy from helping people. Good deal all around!

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I donate on a regular basis. My local hospital has a donation center where I work, which makes it really easy. I do get turned away occasionally because I am a bit anemic, but if I stay on top of my multi-vitamins it usually isn't a problem. I have found that my experience depends largely on the nurse I get. Usually they are fantastic, but I have had a couple who stuck me wrong and I ended up with some nasty bruising.

Donating blood requires little effort on your part and can do so much to help others. I say go for it!!!

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I do. I started last year, my work had the semi come out for a blood drive. I've made the choice to go every 50 some days (cant remember ha) and I feel better knowing it is helping others.

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I was just able to donate for the first time - next drive is in late march! (Tattoos and piercings made me wait.)
Blood transfusions saved my mother and father's lives on separate occasions. Giving some back is the least I could do.

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Wish I could but 5 years in Germany during the late 80s and early 90s puts me on the no list due to mad cow concerns.

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I would more often if I could! Unfortunately I always get weak and throw up of feel like throwing up.

I'm not sure why I get so woozy and such!

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I've given blood in the past and plan to in the future. Needles don't bother me. . . I actually like to watch. For me, it's not bad once they get going--if you don't look, you can't even really feel it. And you get cookies and juice afterwards, and a really good feeling.

I can't tell anyone what to do or judge them, but I'd like to encourage you to try it once. For one, it's always good to face your fears (easier said than done, I know), and for another, it's something that is desperately needed. (Plus, if you don't know your blood type, you will after you give blood).

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Yes, I actually have a blood donation appointment with the red cross tonight.
I don't like doing it but I do it anyway because it's something I can do to help save lives.

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I used to donate plasma, but I have deep narrow veins so only the head phlebotomist would be able find them. Even with the most skilled person there doing it, sometimes it still wouldn't be right, and when the blood can't flow it gets ugly.

I had to stop donating because it was making me increasingly sick after every time.

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Thanks for all the responses dear wooters! I will give it a "shot". I've never turned down cookies and juice before...

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My father donated over 15 gallons of blood, as soon as i turned 18 i too started donating blood. I gave over 2 gallons. however that has since changed.

i no longer give blood to the american red cross.

I don't for very very good reasons.

the american red cross charges about 300 dollars a pint for blood. to Hospitals and the us governmetn for troops.

I was in the army and while at basic i learned that the US Government has to pay the american red cross 300 dollars a pint, for blood. I for one do not approve of this. This is wrong to be charging money for blood that is donated to help people.

since then i exclusively donate to the military blood donation sites. its about a 3 hours a way, but my inlaws live close by so we try to visit them every couple of months and i'll donate when we do. The best part about these donations is that they go directly to our troops.

i hope this helps...

http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/Donors/where_to_give.aspx#

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@witteeric: awesome post, I don't have one close to me but maybe if I call my local VA hospital?

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@witteeric: The employees taking your blood need to be trained and expect a paycheck for their services, Also, processing, testing, storing, and transportation of the blood all cost the red cross money. I think $300 for safe well tested blood is a bargain for those in need of it.

From the site you linked to "...When necessary, blood may be acquired from civilian blood donor centers. This blood is also sent to the Armed Services Whole Blood Processing Laboratories..."
The Government is re-testing the blood they get from the red cross causing the cost per unit to be higher. It's not the Red Crosses fault these expenses are added. It also doesn't say what the cost per unit is to the government through the ASBP, but with the flow chart showing how many offices are involved I am sure its not cheap.

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@witteeric: That's not completely accurate. Yes, they do charge hospitals, etc for blood but that price ranges from region to region depending on costs. The costs they charge reflects various costs of procurement including staff, marketing, materials, testing, etc so it's not as if they're doing it as a for profit incentive.

While you may think it's wrong, you may not be factoring in the mentioned costs associated which may affect your conclusions.

BTW - over 5 gallons doing platelets though taking a break cause I'm doing a marathon.

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@gt0163c: It's funny, because donating platelets completely wiped me out for a week. I don't think I will do it again. I used to donate blood very routinely. It's the easiest thing in the world and saves lives, perhaps one day your own. But we usually end up going to Mexico or Central America on vacation anymore, just because it's the cheapest excellent option, and that knocks me off the donor list year after year.

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Don't look at the needle. Bring a book. Wear loose or short sleeves. If you are prone to getting cold, bring a sweater or wrap, as it is usually very cold to protect the blood. It hurts no more than getting a flu shot. The only time I ever had it "go wrong" was one of the Mayor's Blood Drives. I work at City Hall so I go to all of them. They are held in the City Council conference room. The phlebotomist was having a spectacularly bad day. He blew the vein on my left arm (punched through the back side of the vein, creating a leak and a bruise) so switched to the right. While he was drawing my blood he did the same thing to two other patients and his boss told him to do something else the rest of the day. He didn't seal my blood bag properly and when he disconnected it my blood spewed everywhere. All over him, all over the conference room (fortunately not on me). It was kinda hilarious. Plus I won a $35 turkey from the Honey Baked Ham Company.

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eat/drink plenty before you go.. otherwise you may take a dive after you stand up =D

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BTW - free cookies and juice!

Also, some places do offering other incentives like frequent donation points. My place, Blood Center of the Pacific, you earn 100 points every time you donate which can then be redeemed for various rewards like movie tickets, CDs, and games. It's pretty slow going if you donate whole blood but platelets can be done every couple weeks so they can rack up. You also get pins at every gallon.

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@witteeric: Donations directly to the army still costs them money, too, cause the staff still has to be paid, materials, testing, tracking, distribution, and other things. Whatever it costs, the army either pays out to the Red Cross or covers internally so it's 6 of one or half dozen of the other.

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Several times. The first being my son's Eagle project.

I've donated plasma as well.

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Funny you should ask because my and my older brother were just discussing this last week. Since we lived in Germany from 1986 to 1993, none of my immediate family can donate blood. Although, honestly, I don't know if I would anyways, or at least not very often. I don't like getting shots or having my blood taken for lab work, so the mere thought of having to sit there with a needle sticking out of my arm for more than a few minutes terrifies my. But I could probably work around that if it helps somebody out, as long as I have something to take my mind off of the huge needle in my arm. At least it'll come out eventually. Now an IV? I feel sorry for anybody that tries that; 20 minutes is one thing, but more than an hour? No way is that happening.

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If you ever have a loved one who is really sick in the hospital, you'll appreciate donors. I have O neg so they used to call me all the time since I'm a universal donor. They won't let me donate now because of vaccines I got when I was going to Africa...

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Living in Germany does not keep you from being able to donate blood! I lived in Germany and in Austria and donated all the time.

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@eijisama: Donating plasma/platelets does take about 1.5-2 hours but is really much more valuable than just whole blood. It also doesn't take you out for a few days like whole blood because it returns the red blood cells back to you. I schedule it early on the weekends so it doesn't blow my day.

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Years ago our newborn son needed open heart surgery and on top of all that worry, I was very stressed about the safety of the blood supply. This was a time when AIDS was still an issue and people were worried about blood. Although it was too late for the blood to be directed to our son, family members and friends from all over flew, drove, took the subway, whatever it took to get them to the Children's hospital to donate in our son's name. He had two more open heart surgeries over the next few years, and those same people came again and again to donate. For the other two surgeries, donations were able to be timed so our son could receive all the blood he needed from his family and friends of the family. What an awesome gift! Some of these people continue to donate regularly, even 20 years later. Please give blood whenever you can!

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@gt0163c: and all the others who donate platelets:
Thank you! My Mom just finished a long series of chemotherapy and her platelets have been very slow to recover (although today's bloodwork showed a great improvement.) She has really benefited from those donated platelets.

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@glendacc: Actually, when we went last month, they asked about Europe and said that due to mad cow, you wouldn't be able to donate. They also changed the piercing/tattoo rule to one year instead of 3. Still won't let openly gay males donate, though.

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Plasma, 5 gallons or so. There's a lot of things I can't do, and giving cash just doesn't do it for me. This helps.
Signed up as a marrow donor. Now we wait....

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@glendacc: It's not whether you've lived/traveled there, but how long you were there and when you were there. From the Red Cross eligibility site:

"You were a member of the of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military who spent a total time of 6 months on or associated with a military base in any of the following areas during the specified time frames

From 1980 through 1990 - Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland), or Germany
From 1980 through 1996 - Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece.

You spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 5 years or more from January 1, 1980, to present, in any combination of country(ies) in Europe."

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing

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@first2summit: do the same restrictions for donating blood apply for plasma as well?

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@eijisama: Sorry - I don't understand which restriction you're referring to. (I don't this I mentioned one.)

Basically, to give donate in any form, you have to weigh at least 108 or 110 lb. There's the travel, drugs, tattoo, piercing, having sex with gay men restrictions.

Donating whole blood takes less than half an hour. Donating plasma and/or platelets can take 1.5 to 2 hours but they give you a computer to surf the web and movies if you like.

Little trivia re: the amount of blood you have. The equation is you have a 6 pints at 110 lbs and another pint for every 10 lbs over that.

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@first2summit: I was talking about the travel/weight/etc restrictions, which you answered. Thanks for the help.

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Have donated many gallons in the past, but not in the past 3 years. I will have to check about local donation sites. There is a bloodmobile that comes here every so often, but I cannot leave my work site during the time they are here, or at least not for the period of time involved with blood donation.

IRT ARC charging for blood. Let me repeat and clarify. The American Red Cross charges only their costs. Blood is not a money making business for them. The collection, testing, storage, distribution, and delivery of blood and blood products is highly regulated in this country. There are a large number of screening for transmissible diseases which are required for donated blood, storage conditions are stringent, and detailed record keeping is required. All this costs money. $300 seems like a large sum, but it is reasonable considering all the work involved. Note: the permanent deferral for donors who lived in Europe is not an ARC policy, but a FDA policy.

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@caron7: That is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing.

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I would do it as often as possible, if I could. I grew up in several European countries in the 80's-90's, and have been told I can't donate. Does anybody know if that is a rule for life, or if that will ever expire or what?

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As people become more well traveled, and tattoos and piercings become more widespread, I suspect they are going to see the "clean" donor pool shrink to the point where they will have to reconsider at least the travel restrictions. I frequently vacation in countries where they have malaria, so I am not able to give blood for one year after I travel. Since I go pretty much every year, it means that I can't give at all. I'm going to have a little window this year as I vacationed in July last year and won't be going till September this year, so I should be eligible in August and plan to donate then.