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The Trickle - Feb. 17
February 17, 2009 - Brian Ferry
I gave blood again today. I've already blogged about that particular experience. The new part is that I participated in the Double Red Cell Apheresis this time. Basically, I was plugged in just like normal, but attached to a machine. The blood went into the machine which filtered out the stuff it wanted - the red blood cells. Then its spat the rest - plasma - back out. The system them pumped the plasma and some saline (enough to cover the volume of the red cells removed) back into me. It went through the process twice. One pint out, filter, one slightly different pint back in, repeat. The most interesting part was when the blood and water came back in. Within moments I felt cool. Having given blood before and knowing that I should let a professional know when something surprising happens, I piped right up. I was told that the returning fluid is not warmed in any way. It's basically room temperature - maybe 70 degrees at the Holy Redeemer. The rest of my blood is about that 98.6 degree number. It's really strange to be chilled from the inside out. I'm not allowed to give again for four months (a standard donation requires a two-month wait), but I get credit for giving twice (on my way to that shirt). Community Blood Bank has drives on the third Tuesday of every month at Holy Redeemer. If you're 17 years old and aren't tiny (under 110 pounds or something) you can give. You have to be bigger to do the Double Red thing. A donation takes about 30 minutes. Double red takes longer. I was there for a little more than an hour. The last 15 minutes was spent chowing down on the food. There's a good reason to eat after giving. Better than just liking food.
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