Thursday, September 07, 2006


If you haven't done this already, the next time you donate blood to the American Red Cross consider making an apheresis donation.

I've donated whole blood many times in the past. On July 10, 2006 I showed up at my appointed time on Coliseum Drive in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to make my donation. After the volunteer took my vital signs, checked my iron, asked me about medicines and health issues and questioned me about sexual partners, she suggested I donate using the apheresis method.

I didn't understand until she explained the instrumentation they use to separate the components in blood. Simply stated, the blood that flows from one's arm enters a centrifuge which separates the plasma from the platelets. The plasma looks like lemonade when separated and is pumped back into one's arm. The platelets are kept by the Red Cross for transfusions into cancer patients or whomever else may need it.

It was a little weird to see the yellowish-colored plasma flowing back into my arm, but, otherwise I felt fine and had no side-effects.

This type donation yields 6 units compared to 3 units the whole blood way.
This method of donating is highly desired by the Red Cross. My next scheduled appointment is in February 2007.

Return here on Saturday, September 9 for an update.

Have a good day!


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