Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My first apheresis donation

Apheresis is related to a blood donation, but instead of blood, blood platelets are collected. Platelets mainly go to cancer patients and other types of patients.

Today, I gave my first donation. I would like to tell you about my experience and keep in mind that reactions from donation vary from person to person. This is my story.

When I first went in they asked me the standard questions about medical, sexual, and even travel history. I was not suppose to consume grape juice, garlic supplements, aspirin, and other products. Then they checked my iron levels, blood pressure, and temperature.

I was lead out to the place were they hook you up to the machines, but instead of the typical medical beds where you lay on to give blood donation, I was put into a comfortable recliner with a T.V in front of it.

If you are wondering why apheresis donors receive such a level of comfort it it because apheresis can take up to two hours and blood platelets are in much higher demand than whole blood. How long you stay hooked  up depends on your platelets count and that varies from person to person. Since it was my first time my platelet count in unknown(I should find out in three days) I only had to stay for around fifty minutes.

Apheresis does not take your blood away permanently. It just takes your blood out of your body,separates the blood platelets, and returns it back to your body. One thing about returning blood though is the fact that it is cold and you can feel it when it renters your body. My the end my body had a strange pins and needles sensation mixed with numbness. The phlebotomist gave me a blanket and said that coldness was very common

Another thing is that you are given a something to squeeze at intervals. To honest my hand started to hurt after a while from the squeezing.

By the end of the process I felt extremely cold and tired. I didn't want to drive home and spent the entire drive reclined with my eyes closed with the heater on. I thought that I would fall asleep as soon as I got home. That is not what happened. I just eat a nice, hot meal, laid down for a little bit, then felt fine.

I varies from person to person. The phlebotomist told me that some people feel better after this. I will go back to give more planets in two weeks.

If you are intersted in this please contact your local blood donation center.

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