Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Newsflash: Blood Not Thicker Than Water!

I nearly did something amazing yesterday*. I went to give blood. Anyway it was rather exciting - I'd filled in all the forms, had my iron test (which I only just passed, must eat more green veg and liver I think) and hopped up onto the couch. Then the nurse put the needle in my arm - I am not at all squeamish so we were chatting away at this stage - and she turned round to get some other piece of equipment. While she wasn't looking the needle flew out onto the floor and my blood started spurting across the room. I've never seen blood really spurting before - quite a sight - a neat jet that went a good metre across the hall onto the floor, the bed, the nurse's cardigan and my hand and wrist too. Really Tarantino-esque!

The nurse told me in 21 years in the blood service she's never seen that happen before. As a result she and everyone else there spent about an hour apologising, checking I was ok and feeding me tea and ginger biscuits, which felt like a bit of a cheat considering everyone else there had given a pint of blood and I'd only given about 50ml onto the floor!

Don't be put off giving blood though -it's not painful and you're very well looked after. And in the once-in-21-year chance it does go a teeny bit wrong you'll look really tough and get tons of sympathy.**

* "Do something amazing today" is the slogan used to encourage people to give blood.
** That's really my bandaged arm pictured.


Anonymous said...

I hope it doesn't put you off going again too, Cruella!

I gave blood for years but since having transfusions they won't let me anymore (you're not allowed to give blood if you've ever had a blood transfusion yourself), and I always feel really bad about it. It's ironic cos once you need blood yourself you really appreciate all those blood donors and you want to donate blood and they won't let you!

Also, when you give blood, you come away with a wonderful sense of saintly satisfaction, as though you've just saved the planet or something - it's great - do it, people! :D x

Cruella said...

Yeah you sure do feel smug afterwards and it's a free-bee for getting your other half/flatmate/mum to fetch you cups of tea, etc. I often get rejected because I've traveled somewhere weird and wonderful - you can't donate for 18months if you've been in Africa or SE Asia or a malaria region.

Legible Susan said...

Another thing when I was giving blood - um, 20 years ago? - was aspirin. I couldn't do it once because I'd taken some aspirin, which they'd added to the list while I wasn't paying attention.

Later they missed a couple of times, on one of which I got a massive bruise (obviously your story is better!) and then they decided my veins are too small and told me not to come back.

I read recently that men who have ever had sex with another man are barred, regardless of the passage of time since, monogamy, playing safe, testing etc. Way to encourage honesty!

Cruella said...

I confessed to taking aspirin and I still got through but yes, they rule out men who've ever slept with another man and women who've ever slept with a man whose ever slept with another man. I agree it's daft, if you've been celibate or heterosexual and monogamous since your last HIV test, surely that's enough?