[AMA] I've Completed 50 Blood Donations, Ask Me Anything!

I always enjoy the AMAs but was never sure about what I could contribute. Then I recently completed my 50th blood donation and thought it might be a fun topic.

I've been donating for just over 15 years (since I turned 18) and I think it's a relatively quick and easy thing to do that can really help people.

Anyone interested in donating can discuss it here or feel free to head to https://www.donateblood.com.au/

I am in no way associated with any of the relevant organisations and do not speak for them, only from personal experience.

closed Comments

    •  

      Does "health benefits" of blood donors like reduce iron level

      a reduced iron level is not a good thing? Why would it be a 'benefit'?

      •  

        Iron is a mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells. However, too much iron can be harmful to a person's health. It can deposit into different organs of the body, such as the liver and heart, and affect the way those organs function.

        That's what it says

      •  

        There is a specific genetic condition (hemochromatosis) that causes the body to absorb too much iron, typical treatment is removing blood.

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          I was also going to mention this, but I'd say in the main most people are iron deficient so less iron isn't ideal.

          I'm certainly not qualified to speak to it BUT I would say that if they were proven rather than myths we'd be hearing about them.

          What I can say is I seem to be able to donate blood without adversely impacting my health.

  • +2 votes

    I donated for the first time last weekend and I am O Negative.. Can't wait for my second donation :)

    •  

      Awesome. Universal donors are "da bomb" if I understand what the kiddies are saying. Great for when they need to give blood before they can type the blood (though as I understand it that's relatively quick compared to the olden days).

  • +2 votes

    Hi no questions, just a comment that you are a right champion.

  •  

    How does it feel to save 150 lives?

    I've never even really saved 1

    •  

      They're big on talking up the "saving lives" and telling the stories of recipients. I'm satisfied to know it's doing a general good and, given I know people who have needed blood transfusions for all sorts of reasons, it's nice to think that I vaguely contribute to that thing.

      If you're interested in donating then give it a crack! If not for whatever reason s'all good, just remember it's always there

  •  

    Have you put your name down to be a bone marrow transplant patient? It's another test they do and they keep you on a database if they need a donation for someone that matches you.
    I did it a few years back and have never heard anything since. Apparently it's a lot more painful process if needed but still it's something people need to live sometimes.
    Seems you guys get heaps better food down south. Darwin only has cheese and crackers, some biscuits and packets of nuts. Havent seen a byron bay cookie in about 2 years I reckon. Miss them.

    •  

      Completely depends on the donation centre in my experience. Some always have hot food, some have chocolate bars and Big Ms, some have cordial and homemade biscuits.

      •  

        I haven't looked into that, maybe I should. Doesn't sound as easy but I'd give it a crack…

        As for the cookies a hot tip from a mate is that they now hide the cookies and you have to ask for them. I have not verified this (and perhaps shouldn't be telling you brodening monsters!)

    •  

      +1 to this. It's actually the reason I got into donating in the first place, my sister needed a bone marrow transplant and the local Red Cross donor centre was where I needed to go for the testing. Once I saw what was going on I decided that it was something I wanted to be involved with. I'm over 80 donations now, although I've slowed an awful lot from what I used to do.

  • +2 votes

    What is the opposite of a vampire?

    Why OP of course!

    •  

      Is the opposite of a vampire someone that keeps vampires living/taking over our organisations? If so then that's me!

  •  

    Im curious, if you donate blood, would you still able to have a stiffe?

  •  

    Why whole blood over plasma?

    Do they just prefer you give it, or do you like only donating every 3 months?

    •  

      From my perspective or theirs?

      From my perspective it's faster, can be done at mobile vans (which I usually use) and doesn't have the pressure of being as frequent.

      From their perspective (I assume) they need the red blood cells too and it's less of an imposition to ask of donors.

    • +1 vote

      In actual fact, whole blood is usually spun out almost immediately into the component parts. It's rarely stored whole, and usually only in cases where it's needed almost straight away for emergency trauma cases.*

      The order of preference from the Red Cross is:

      • Platelets - they need to be stored warm so have a very short shelf-life (i.e. 4-5 days).
      • Plasma - can be cold-stored the longest, plus is used in the manufacture of the largest number of other medical and pharmaceutical products.
      • Whole blood - as said, spun out into separate parts. Red cells can be chilled for storage, and when needed will be mixed in with the other parts as required.

      Like Waffles said, whole blood donations take less time. Not everyone can put up with a large-gauge needle sticking into their arm for the length of time required for plasma or platelets (can be as much as 40-60 minutes in the chair) or they may have had a reaction to the sodium citrate solution they give you when returning the red cells (it helps to prevent clotting). I used to do plasma religiously every 2-3 weeks but had to cut it back when I went back to working full-time in an office. Now I do whole blood because I'm in & out of the donor centre in a 1/2 hour.

      * I've no idea if this is still done or not, but my mother had a rare blood type (B+) and I remember her being rung by the local hospital and asked to attend to donate blood for emergency trauma cases that had come in. It was literally still warm from her as they were pouring it into the recipient.

      •  

        I agree it is a pain donating plasma sometimes.

        I do it every fortnight and take it as my lunch break. If the clinic is up to speed I can have the interview almost straight away and then take 45 mins to donate and be back maybe a little bit over the hour break. But generally the whole experience is 90 minutes.

        Sometimes I'm waiting 15-30 minutes just to do the interview and that's when I don't question why more people don't donate. It can be time consuming.

      •  

        It was literally still warm from her as they were pouring it into the recipient.

        They would never have used donated blood without screening it first.

        •  

          Oh, definitely there would've been some screening going on. It was also a long time ago, hence why I can't say if this sort of practice still goes on today.

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