08 December 2005

Rivers of blood

I wandered in today and donated my second dose of whole blood.

Now that I’ve donated whole blood twice, I can come back in four weeks (and then every two after that) and donate just plasma and platelets through a nifty little gadget which uses a process called “apheresis” to rip out just the components that the Red Cross most need, and not the components which would reduce my donation frequency to once a quarter.

As well as the more frequent donations, apheresis is able to extract roughly three times as much of the important bits as a whole blood donation would, meaning that I’ll be able to source enough essentials to support (more or less) eighteen times as many lukaemia patients or whomever as through whole-blood donations.

The process, including paperwork and recovery, takes of the order of an hour and a half instead of half an hour, so I guess I’ll finally be able to catch up on my breathtakingly long reading list backlog.

No comments: