Recently, on planet.debian.org, there were quite a few posts relating to blood donations. I must say that I really only live thanks to people donating blood. As many might know, I had a freaking motorcycle accident about 9 years ago. Well, apart from loosing my right leg in the weeks following the accident (irreparable damages to tissues led to amputation), I also lost a lot of blood after the accident. In the six hours following the accident, I got no less than 65 blood infusions (approximately 24-30 litres or 6-8 US gallons). As you can imagine, this is about 3-4 times as much blood as my body normally carries around.
At least I can say that I didn’t receive blood without giving some before, though certainly I wasn’t able to give that much blood (I donated about 10 times, approx. 0.45 litres each time). However, due to the medication I now need, I can’t donate blood anymore. Anyhow, I strongly suggest to anyone who is capable of donating blood to do so.
And regarding Thijs comment about the frequency of donation and payment: This is highly depending on the area you live in and the organisation who manages the donations. For example, while I donated blood in Dortmund, Germany, I had two options to donate blood: German Red Cross, who would accept a donation every 6 weeks, with free sandwiches, drinks and chocolate but without payment and the city-owned hospital’s blood bank, which allowed a donation every 3 month, with free drinks and a 50DEM (approx. 25EUR/30USD) payment. This sounds as if the city-owned blood bank could attract homeless and junkies who were in for the money, but from my experience, the blood bank did far stricter pre-donation tests (I can’t tell what they did after donation for either organisation) than the red cross. And knowing how much money can be earned with the blood donated, I certainly think that payment is fair, though not strictly necessary. And the blood bank people did a much better job when applying the needle than the red cross people did, which might be because they were used to taking blood from people with bad veins (mostly patients donating blood for themselves for use in a later, planned surgery). But to be fair: I know from other people who had very good experiences with the red cross staff in this respect.
Once again: Please donate blood if you can. If you are uncomfortable with the choice you made on your first donation, check out other options for donations. For example, if you almost collapsed when donating blood, try out the plasma donation if it is offered. They usually take the plasma, but give back an equal volume of a substitution, so your circulation isn’t disturbed as much as by taking approx. 0.5 litres from it within an hour. If you feel that the person who applied the needle did a bad job, ask for someone else next time or try a different organisation altogether.
See also No related posts