Organs, Blood and Marrow
This entry this week is to simply bring awareness and as a person who is currently on dialysis this topic is close to my heart. All over the country there is a shortage of organs, hundreds of thousands of people, on a never ending list, waiting for kidneys, livers, bone marrow and or blood at any given time; New York has one of the longest lists.
The stats in this country say that its the minority group that mostly need these organs and its this same group that donates the least. Why? because we are not educated about what these things mean. So lets go over at least the simplest one and a first step we all can take...
Blood Donor Process: As stated before donating blood is a very simple process but it can save many lives. The whole process can take about 15-30 minutes from start to finish. There are 4 steps.
1. Registration Process- You will complete a donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, and phone number. You will be asked to show a driver’s license or two other forms of ID. Since it is your first time you will receive a donor card for future donations and your information will be kept on file.
2. Health History/ Mini Physical- You will be required to answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled domestically and internationally. You will have your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse checked; these are know in the medical field as "vitals". (note* if your blood count is too low you will not be allowed to donate as a precautionary measure.)
3. Donation- An area on your arm will be cleansed and a brand–new, sterile needle will be used for drawing blood. You will have some time to relax while the bag is filling. When in the case of donating only blood the process can take from 8 to 10 minutes. However, people have the option of donating other blood products like plasma and or platelets, donating these can take a bit longer as a different process may be used.
4. Refreshment- Shortly after you donate you will be given some refreshments as to replenish the fluid removal of the body. Your body is constantly making RBCs so the refreshments help maintain the body's balance. After a small assessment of the vitals and proof that all is well you are free to go with the knowledge that you will be making a difference in someone's life.