Donate Blood

October 18th, 2006

Ever since i was 18, I’ve been donating blood. Mainly I do it because people need blood (number one reason people give for donating), but also because i find the process very interesting. In the last few years i’ve been doing apheresis, which is a longer but more helpful process. Instead of just taking one pint of whole blood, they taking out your blood, processing it, then putting it back in every 5-10 mins for about 2 hours. Thats right, they recycle your own blood back in ya. The machine also includes a little something in the returning blood to prevent coagulation – it makes your lips an mouth area tingle and feel cold. Whoa, trippy !! Basically the red blood cells are the limiting factor and they are only extracted at the end of apheresis. Here’s a little more why its good to do apheresis instead of doing the regular whole blood donation:

“After you donate whole blood, the unit is separated into platelets, red cells and plasma in our laboratory. Only two tablespoons of platelets are collected from a whole blood donation. Six whole blood donations must be separated and pooled to provide a single platelet transfusion. However, one apheresis donation provides enough platelets for one complete transfusion — that’s six times the amount collected from a whole blood donation.” –

On the business tip, I donate at Blood Centers of the Pacific Irwin Center, mainly because it is convenient. They are owned by United Blood Services, a non-profit organization covering 18 states and 500 hospitals. 2nd largest in the country, They had $434 million in operational revenue yielding $28 million in operational income in 2005. $100 million was spent on blood collecting and testing supplies, $170 mil on wages. Very interesting.

Why is blood red ?? Its the Hemoglobin !! “Hemoglobin is a protein that contains iron. It carries oxygen to the body tissues and gives blood its red color.” By the way, my blood type is A-, and 44% of US peeps can use my blood. What’s your blood type?