In honor of my mom, who died 6 years ago today, and Cousin Dale who died June 3 of this year, I donated a double unit of red blood cells today.
In a traditional blood donation, donors give whole blood—which consists of red cells, plasma and platelets. With the automated process called double red cell donation, donors can give just red cells—but two units of red cells—and that’s the component of blood that is in the greatest demand.I know I've said it before, and I am not one to harp (OK, my son might disagree) but please find out if you are eligible to give blood products and if you are (around 60% of the population IS and of that 60%, only 5% actually donate) please schedule an appointment to donate.
You can give platelets twice a week, up to 24 times per year, plasma 12 times per year, whole blood every 56 days and a double unit of red cells every 120 days. It's painless and only takes a little while. It is estimated that 60 percent of the population will need blood or blood components sometime during their lives. That someone could easily be you or someone you love.
You might even get a t-shirt like this for your efforts!
After my donation, the phlebotomist gave me the standard post-donation lecture. Wear the bandage for four hours (yeah right), no heavy lifting, drink plenty of fluids, make your next meal a big one and no vigorous exercise for 24 hours. What? I didn't remember THAT from before.
Being a stubborn Norwegian, I decided that not all of the rules applied to me and headed off towards home on my beautiful new bicycle. About a quarter of the way there, I was feeling a bit wobbly. About half way home I was light headed. As I approached the street where I live I was bobbing and weaving all over the place. I'm sure glad they didn't arrest me for D.U.I.B.D. (Driving Under the Influence of Blood Donation).
I don't think THAT would look good on my record.