Friday 22 June 2007

Otterman's 93rd blood donation

In my secondary education days, there would be representatives from the Health Sciences Authority coming down to promote blood donation. I'd always be the one that remains fascinated about the proceedings of it. In fact, all that I have recollection of are the needles and the snacks after that.

So, moving along with Siva on his 93rd donation made me understand a little more than I did about the proceedings of blood donation.

Stage 1
A form's to be filled out to make sure you aren't involved in any promiscuous activity of late. Or early for that matter. Next, you'll get to chat with a doctor personally to make sure the answers are correct and to screen you for your weight. Siva said the 2+ pages worth of questions are gone through one by one. That's how important it is to make sure the blood donated is clean and free from any diseases.

Stage 2
A blood test is done. Your finger gets pricked and blood forced out to be collected in a microtube. Siva said this is the only part of the entire process that hurts. (Can't confirm how true that is. Probably varies with individuals.) Next a tiny drop of blood's dripped into copper sulphate II to ascertain your blood density level's satisfactory for donation. (I've been told Airani has a high rate of failing this test.)

Stage 3
Green light to donate, and you'll proceed into this room with bendy chairs. and two movable arm rests. There's no preference as to which arm to have the needle inserted - all depends on the nurse's ability to get your vein to show itself.

Stage 4
After sterilising the area to have the needle inserted, the nurse delivers local anaesthesia to Siva and inserted the metal needle in. A small portion of blood is directed to a tiny pouch, which I was told for testing purposes. About 3/4 of the blood is used and the rest of blood flow is directed into the larger donation pouch. 450ml of blood's mixed with 46ml of preservative. This pouch is left on a haem-mixer which rocks the pouch gently till 450ml of your blood's inside. It also gives the rate of blood flow into the pouch. All the while, Siva has to squeeze a little sponge provided by the blood bank.

Stage 5
After the pouch fills up and the needle removed, the donor gets to rest for 5 minutes on the bendy chair. Meanwhile, your pouch of blood's whisked away for labeling. A gauze is used and an elastic bandage wrapped around it for flexibility and maximum ventilation for better recovery. And you're good to go!

Siva having donated so many times, has a Champion donor plague on the backdrop of the bloodbank's waiting area. Some photos are available on his blog and more information on his blood page.

Other Links:
How to be a blood donor
PDF copy of pamphlet blood donation

1 comment:

Sivasothi said...

Stage 1 - its not just sexual activity they ask you about, its recent vaccinations, illness, medicine consumption, medical and travel history etc.

Stage 3 - There is arm preference in many people as they may have people have larger veins on one arm! Easier to donate with, my dear! And the nurses are good.

Okay, your turn next. Ho about joining the NTU/NUS Red Cross donor exercise? Harbour Front today and tomorrow.