Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another platelet day

Well, today was another platelet donation day. Because work has been so crazy this spring, this was only my third donation of the year! But it managed to be exciting anyway.

*warning* - if you can't handle blood or talk of blood, you might want to stop reading!

It began with both a finger stick and a hand stick to check iron/pre-counts. The new girl didn't check my records and had already done the finger stick to check my iron level before she was told that I needed a hand stick to check my pre-donation platelet counts. That's when I should have known today would be an interesting donation day.

The next complication was when they stuck my "return" arm and I had some pretty serious pain/stinging. Apparently, the iodine was still wet, so I was feeling that inside my arm! Then, the blood didn't flow correctly. So, some rearranging of the needle and we seemed to be in business. Got the "draw" arm stuck and started. Then it stopped drawing. Meanwhile, the return arm was still hurting pretty badly and I saw my skin start to expand - like it was a balloon - apparently that's called infiltrating - it's when somehow the needle missed the vein and the blood/saline started to go into my arm. Thankfully, the tech was standing right there and saw what was happening so she cut it off. Pulled out the needle and started trying to find another vein to keep it going. She was able to start it in the same vein in my hand where they did the pre-count draw -- but the regular needle is much larger -- and I must say, it hurt!

Finally, after jiggling the needle in the draw arm, we were in business. My hand is pretty sore and I bet I have a good bruise, but we were able to salvage the unit and not have to waste the supplies. Whew.

Now I'm just taking it easy, watching the Mavericks try to win game one of the NBA Finals.


Amy said...

Okay I couldn't read that, but I sure appreciate your willingness to donate!

Clint said...

got to be a better way to make an extra buck

go mav's

Jim said...

Actually, platelet donors don't get any reimbursement except for the occasional t-shirt, ice cream, etc. What we do get is the satisfaction of helping cancer patients and other people who need large infusions of platelets. Getting them from a single donor reduces the risk of infection and rejection.

After donating over 20 gallons of blood over 30 years, I still go back monthly to donate platelets even with the occasional bad experience such as Jenni experienced this week.

Plasma donors do get paid, but the plasma is not used for humans.

Lana said...

Owwee! (OK -- that doesn't look like the right spelling but maybe you get my reaction.) Poor baby!

Of course if all that happened to me, I'd have passed out long ago! I'm just glad that those of you who can give blood or platelets actually make the time and effort to go do it!

I can't wait to see your arm tomorrow and again in 2 weeks! Should be colorful!

That Girl said...

I didn't tell you! We're getting an apheresis machine at the new LifeSouth donor station at our hospital! Now, I can be a platelet donor like you!

JoeinVegas said...

They still do the two arm thing there? In San Diego they shifted to a one arm draw/return several years ago, and the same here in Vegas.
I used to donate a lot in SD, but after two pretty bad sticks I don't go to the center here anymore. I do whole blood when the bloodmobile comes by.