Thursday, January 15, 2009

conquering the fear of needles, part something

today my friend K and i went and spread good into the world! we both went to the local blood donor center and made some donations. woo. she did whole blood i gave platelets. since i'm A+, the center would rather me make platelet donations since my blood type is quite common and platelets can be given to anyone who needs them regardless of their blood type. the apheresis machine that i was hooked up to pumped my blood out of my arm, spun it in a centrifuge, skimmed the top layer of platelets off, and then pumped the rest of the blood (plus the anticoagulant solution) back into my arm. repeat. the first time i donated platelets it took about 2-2.5 hours...this time it only took 61 minutes! i had gotten my technique down and was outta there! (the time it takes to do the donation varies with the number of platelets you have, the pumping you're doing, and how the earth is rotating...haha.) i think i talked my blood tech's ear off though...when i get nervous i get really chatty. (and those out there that know me personally are like, when is frylime NEVER chatty?!)

it was interesting to note that my pre-donation blood pressure reading was 98/58...my lowest known reading yet! my BP is usually in the 110/70 range...so that impressed me. gotta keep up the good work...cardiovascular disease runs on one side of my family so got to do what i can now to prevent the bad stuff later.

and yes, i did flinch a bit when they stuck the needles into my arm, but all in all, i survived the needle sticks! the blood sample needle was a 21 gauge, and the actual platelet donation needle was a 17 gauge...that's what actually sold me on giving platelets. the needle for it is SMALLER than the whole blood donation needle. sign me up!

school is going alright...i just need to buckle down and study more. i'm so glad for the holiday this coming up monday...more study time!

2 comments:

Amanda said...

You got tricked. Gauges on needles are weird. A 21 gauge needle is actually smaller than a 17 gauge one. As the numbers increase the needle diameter decreases. But hey at least you gave anyway. Props!!!

frylime said...

i'm not sure what the gauge is for the needle to do the whole blood donation...but the needle stick for the platelets doesn't hurt near as much for the whole blood donation. i guess that would mean the gauge for whole blood is < 17? (this is making my head hurt!) eh, i don't really care if i got tricked or not...at least donating platelets doesn't make me faint!