Originally Posted by CarolPetunia
...What type of donation do you do? I've been doing whole blood donation every eight weeks like clockwork for almost thirty years. It doesn't worry me much, because nothing comes back into my body.
But last year, when they had a desperate need here for my type (A+), I went ahead and started doing "double red" donations, because that helps several more patients than a straight whole blood donation. In double red, they separate the elements of your blood and return some of them to you, along with some anticoagulant medication... and I don't like the idea of anything coming back in, because of course that opens the possibility of trouble, some kind of contamination in the anticoagulant, who knows... but I've been doing it anyway.
Now they want me to start doing platelet donation. As I understand it, that involves the return of parts of your own blood, plus the anticoagulant, plus some additional fluids of some kind -- and instead of waiting four months to become eligible to donate again, you can donate every two weeks.
Obviously, that would benefit many more patients than I can help now, and that would be great. But it would also drastically increase my exposure to potential problems, and I'm just plain scared of it.
So my questions are...
1. Does anyone have experience with blood donation, either as a donor or as a blood draw technician? I'd love to know what you think about the process and its safety.
2. If you've ever worked in a draw center or a blood lab, what is your feeling about the sterility and safety procedures involved? At the place I go to here in Plano, I often feel extremely doubtful of the very young, very cavalier technicians they hire. They're usually too involved in their personal conversations, or in the soap operas on TV, to even make eye contact with me. I'd feel a lot better if they concentrated on what they're doing, but... am I just being oversensitive?
3. Does anyone know of any cases of infection or trouble of any kind related to blood donation?
Thanks for any insight you can provide...