I’m not sure if you remember but last year I donated blood for the very first time on Christmas eve.
Anyway, unfortunately for me, a few months after that, I received a letter from the Red Cross stating that they found malarial antibodies in my blood and couldn’t use the whole blood as a result. This despite me not ever suffering from malaria. However, apparently, if you have visited or are from countries where the virus is rampant, there are chances that your body fought a full-blown infection and you will still have the antibodies.
To cut a long story short, it means I can’t donate blood.
I can however, donate plasma.
So last Friday, the 14th, my colleagues and I went to the donation centre. Two of us to donate plasma, one to donate whole blood and one to be a moral support as they have health problems that prevent them from being a donor. This time around though, I encountered problems I hadn’t faced before. You see, I am 7 kilos lighter than I was last year. So after they weighed me, I had this nurse walk in ask my weight and then tell me I might be too light to give plasma. In the end, they went through the questioning anyway and said they would decide when I was on the chair. Meaning they would check to see if they could find my veins. They did find my veins and did take plasma. A lot less than my colleague donating plasma thanks to my size. In the second (and final) cycle though I got really cold. And a bit woozy. To the point where the nurse recommended I rethink my decision to donate next time.
However, I do want to donate. Even if it’s just once a year. After all, I am currently fortunate to be healthy and capable of doing so.
So please, if you are healthy, do donate blood or plasma. Over the festive season, there is a lot more need given that centres close on Christmas day and lots of people go away on holidays. You can find your nearest donor centre here.
And remember, you never know when you or a loved one might need some blood. If everyone thought someone else would do it, we won’t have enough supplies to go around.
Go ahead. Do your bit of giving this festive season.
Until next time,