This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


(This post is rated R for graphic content. You have been warned.)

Normally a blood drive is not all that exciting, but on Thursday I realized I could take some pictures and post them on this blog. So I had more than the usual amount of motivation. (I also like to be motivated by a tee shirt, a cap, or an ice cream coupon. For me, a little self interest primes the pump of altruism.)
Sometimes the Red Cross uses the St. Luke's Lutheran Church hall, but on Thursday (December 18) the drive was being held at the Knights of Columbus hall. When we got there, I was surprised to see two Red Cross vans and a Red Cross bus.
Inside, almost nothing was set up and almost no one was there. We signed in, and a nurse took a blood sample and read our blood pressures. I wanted to take some pictures, but Frankie, my nurse, said that everything behind the blue partitions was a top secret area in which no pictures were allowed. I obeyed her order so you will have to go yourself to see what secrets await behind the wall.
After filling out the form on the computer that asks if you have ever had malaria, or visited Africa, or had weird diseases that most people have never heard of, and waiting (there can be lots of waiting when you give blood), we were sent to the front of the bus.

The reason that the Red Cross had a bus on Thursday was that their trucks, which carry the equipment needed to set up in a hall, were all being used elsewhere. The bus, however, was available for Rensselaer. After a bit more waiting, while I watched workers outside move truck trailers, I was invited to the main part of the bus where there were four berths on which the donors reclined. Here was the view from where I reclined.
Soon Nurse Cyndi came and attached the cabling. Then I had to wait as she finished up the donor across the aisle.
After iodine swabbing, it was time for the real fun. Here is the needle going in.
Immediately the blood flowed down the tube into the one-pint bag hanging from the side of the berth.
Then it was time to lie back and relax. There is nothing you can or should do when blood is being drained from your system. After a few minutes and a pint of blood later, I was almost finished.
All that remained was to fill six vials with even more blood. When I first gave blood, and saw how much was taken out, I really did not like the idea of them taking even more. However, it is all part of the procedure. I do not know what they do with all that extra blood. I guess they test for lots of different things. Or they use it to feed vampire bats.
After I was disconnected, I had to hold my arm up and apply pressure to the puncture site, so it was hard to take pictures. While I was holding my hand up, the nurse did her paper work and used her little scanner to scan a bunch of UPC labels.After I was finished and was ready to go to the back of the bus to get a drink and enjoy a cookie, the only real excitement of the day happened. A young lady fainted on the berth behind me. Some people are not affected at all by giving blood, but others are sensitive to the change that drawing a pint of fluid from the circulatory system causes. In the past I have felt woozy when giving blood, but fortunately have never fainted. The nurses quickly disconnected her and gave her orange juice to drink.

Usually the cookies are better than what they had Thursday.
(I hope no one who gets this far is wondering where the graphic content was.)


Desert Survivor said...

That's the best documented blood giving I've ever seen, felt like I was right there!

Desert Survivor said...

I'm not sure if it's a good thing to feel like I was right there.

Anonymous said...

You got the puncture site photographed perfectly. Hooray?!

Now I gotta go toss my cookies.


Anonymous said...


Ed said...

I was hoping for more blood