Yes, it has been 4 months since blood donation #2. On Saturday the 20th of August I went to the blood bank at Ola During Children's Hospital to give another 450 mls of blood. Since my regular partner in crime has left Sierra Leone (still miss you Shona!), another friend joined me this time. It was his first time to donate (well done Grant!). First things first, we started off with a cold bottle of coke. Then, we headed to the blood bank where we needed to check our own hemoglobins to make sure we were fit to donate. As usual, my Hb was on the low side: 11.2 g/dL. Slightly too low to donate, but I convinced the technician that I was happy to donate at my own risk. He allowed it. He then proceeded to check my friend's Hb. The machine read: error. He tried again. Same thing. He tried another machine. Both read: error. I asked when the machines were last cleaned. It had been a while. He said he would do it now. After a 5 minute search for a special hemocue cleaner, I suggested I get a cleaner from my office. The technician liked that idea so off we went to pick up a cleaning package. The tech then proceeded to clean the machine. However, he wasn't able to dismantle the machine to get to the optic lens, which is the part that needed to be cleaned. He graciously asked if I could help. To be honest, I have done it before, but never quite remember how I dismantle the machine. I did manage however, and cleaned both hemocue machines. Who would have thought I'd be put to work when going to donate blood? Only here. My friend's Hb was much better than mine and so we were ready to donate. We headed over to the donation room, got our weights and ages noted and got settled on the exam tables- one of which is propped up by a box. The process took longer than usual, due to slow running blood through my veins and a dislodged needle in my friend's arm meaning he needed to be stuck a second time. All ended well, and we both donated. It was, once again, a unique experience.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
If you would like to donate at the Children's Hospital, let me know! I know the experience sounds a bit crazy, but really it's fine. World Health Organization Standards and all around good staff. No need to worry. And, the offer of an escort and free coke still stand. Come and donate - it's a great way to contribute to saving lives...
Posted by Sandra's Latest... at 5:45 PM