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Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:11 PM   #1
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Should I give blood again?

I've donated blood several times because I feel it is so important. However the last time I gave blood (after a few hours) I fainted and had a slight seizure. I went to the hospital and they gave me fluids...then I was fine.

Since then I have been diagnosed with an under active thyroid. I'm on meds now. I would like to give blood again, but after my whoopsy, I'm afraid to. I just wondered if anyone else has gone through this.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Should I give blood again?

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Originally Posted by bbbamI
I've donated blood several times because I feel it is so important. However the last time I gave blood (after a few hours) I fainted and had a slight seizure. I went to the hospital and they gave me fluids...then I was fine.

Since then I have been diagnosed with an under active thyroid. I'm on meds now. I would like to give blood again, but after my whoopsy, I'm afraid to. I just wondered if anyone else has gone through this.
Bbami,

Fainting ("syncope") is not that uncommon after donating blood, especially if you're dehydrated to begin with, or if you are a "fainter" by nature (in a hot church while standing, when faced with sudden bad news, other emotional stimuli including needles, for some). Seizures can occur if while fainting you are held vertical by well-meaning bystanders. It usually means a pooling of your blood supply in your muscles and elsewhere leading to a drop of blood pressure to the brain, or inefficient rapid heartbeat, etc. Of course, rarely it can also be a sign of more serious disease.

I'd check with tour doctor but from your description I bet she'll tell you it is OK - just be careful not to get up too fast, and to drink tons of fluid. We need blood donors like you.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Should I give blood again?

I used to give blood regularly and was on a special list because I have a relatively unusual blood type. I have quite low blood pressure.

Then I came in as a result of a claimed special need. The RC attendent was rough with the needle, complained when I didn't fill the bag fast enough. When I was called again the caller blew off my concerns about the way I was treated. NO MORE!!
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: Should I give blood again?

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Originally Posted by Brat
Then I came in as a result of a claimed special need. The RC attendent was rough with the needle, complained when I didn't fill the bag fast enough. When I was called again the caller blew off my concerns about the way I was treated. NO MORE!!
C'mon, Brat. Punishing the patients who need it to get back at some idiots who obtained the blood? Give 'm another shot (no pun intended) .
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Thanks Rich...that makes me feel better.

The last time I gave blood, the "blood letting" went ok. Needles don't bother me at all. But a few hours later, it looked like someone had beaten me with a stick. A third of my arm was black and blue. I got a lot of "looks" at the hospital.

I have never fainted, and that is what really freaked me out.

I'll talk to my doc the next time I go in. If he says it's ok, I think I'll ask for the best place to give blood.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Needles really do bother me. Giving blood was a major stress-er. If someone called and made an honest request for a person in need I would step up, but I felt that I didn't deserve to be treated like a slab of meat.

I have A neg, then something with two letters subtype negative, blood type.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
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Re: Should I give blood again?

I'll put in a plug for giving blood. I've given over 10 gallons of blood. I'm O neg, Rh neg, CMV neg so in the past my blood has gone to babies and intrauterine transfusions. One of the neat things was talking to the technician taking my history whose baby had had an intrauterine transfusion. About a year ago they asked me to participate in the ECMO program which is a procedure for babies whose lungs are failing. They need donors to give on specific days, and since I'm retired I can go almost any time. Sort of a different SWR to think about.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: Should I give blood again?

John & Rich, as you may be able to see my response was emotional, not intellectual. For some the act of giving blood is not easy. To do that and be dismissed is very painful.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 11:24 PM   #9
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Needles really do bother me. Giving blood was a major stress-er. If someone called and made an honest request for a person in need I would step up, but I felt that I didn't deserve to be treated like a slab of meat.
OK, fair enough .
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-03-2007, 11:25 PM   #10
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Brat, I certainly understand what you mean. I guess the reason it doesn't bother me much is because I've had to endure different procedures and operations in the past. My pain tolerance used to be very low. But, with what I've been through, giving blood is very easy.

This indeed is a personal issue. You should be treated with respect and care. That's why if my doc says I can give blood again, I will be more careful in choosing the facility. If I am not treated well, I will walk away. Find someone you're comfortable with if and when you decide to try again.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 05:32 AM   #11
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Re: Should I give blood again?

I feel badly because I've only given blood once, many years ago. I had a horrible experience like Brat's.. the woman kept gouging.. and gouging.. and gouging.. Couldn't fill the bag and I got brusquely ordered to "play some tennis and then come back." I still have a lentil-size scar.

For many years, even THINKing about giving blood gave me a recurrence of that sickening ache deep in my elbow and upper/underarm, and my stomach and throat would tighten up and start to hurt. By the time I'd gotten over this, I heard they weren't taking blood from those who'd spent more than 6 mo. overseas (me) due to mad cow disease, I believe. Not sure if this is still true in the US.

I was really surprised at how I was treated, and you can't really know who you'll be "comfortable" with until after the fact.. but I know I should grit my teeth and try again here in Italy. Errmm .. now my arm is aching..

I see that the law in Italy is that employees have the right to a day off with pay for giving blood. Also, it looks like they give you a series of blood tests first, before enrolling you in a donor program.. it's not exactly a spur-of-the-moment thing.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 06:54 AM   #12
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Re: Should I give blood again?

I used to give blood, but after being stationed in Turkey and eating British beef for a couple years the people at the blood drives always say thank you there's the door.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 07:32 AM   #13
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Re: Should I give blood again?

I had a bad experience the one time I gave blood... but not due to the people who took it...

I used to faint just giving a few vials for tests... I could 'feel' the blood leaving my body and it seemed my body did not like it Once, they tried to get a third vile and my blood stopped flowing out..


now my BP is a bit higher and I can give for test... but when I did give blood, it took awhile and I turned white as a sheet... the lady that went with me from work was worried and got the nurse over... they leaned me back so my head was lower, I was sweating a lot... they gave me a cold pack which felt VERY good... but I did get enough that day...

The tech joked he thought he was going to have to squeeze the blood back into me... but suggested that I don't donate again....

Since then, I have lived overseas in London... so maybe I would not be welcomed anyhow..
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 07:59 AM   #14
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I heard they weren't taking blood from those who'd spent more than 6 mo. overseas (me) due to mad cow disease, I believe. Not sure if this is still true in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
I used to give blood, but after being stationed in Turkey and eating British beef for a couple years the people at the blood drives always say thank you there's the door.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Since then, I have lived overseas in London... so maybe I would not be welcomed anyhow..
I"ve given gallons over the years-- literally-- but I've been banned from donating since the late '90s due to the bovine spongiform encephaly concern. I haven't been to Europe for over 20 years but apparently there's no medical statute of limitations. I check with the local blood bank every couple years but there's no plan to change the restriction.

Seems kinda silly for a cumulative stay of less than a year spread out over 1984-86 but I guess no one wants a replay of the HIV contamination with BSE.
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:52 AM   #15
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Seems kinda silly for a cumulative stay of less than a year spread out over 1984-86 but I guess no one wants a replay of the HIV contamination with BSE.
Nords, maybe they sensed some early signs of BSE but were just trying to be polite?
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:56 AM   #16
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Nords, maybe they sensed some early signs of BSE but were just trying to be polite?
Nords had the same thought then said to himself, "I'd have to be crazy to think that."

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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:41 AM   #17
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Re: Should I give blood again?

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Nords, maybe they sensed some early signs of BSE but were just trying to be polite?
Gosh, and I ask them every day too!
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #18
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Re: Should I give blood again?

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Originally Posted by Nords
Gosh, and I ask them every day too!
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:57 AM   #19
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Huh...so Nords and Denny Crane have even more in common than I thought...
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Re: Should I give blood again?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:48 PM   #20
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Re: Should I give blood again?

Quote:
is not that uncommon after donating blood, especially if you're dehydrated to begin with, or if you are a "fainter" by nature
Back in Navy "A" school I went to the blood drive with two strapping, six-foot marines. I felt like a pygmy walking between them.

They took us in together, laid us out, put the needles in, and filled the bags. We all sat back up within a few moments of one another once it was over -- imagine my surprise at finding myself alone in an upright position while the "Few and the Proud" swooned on either side of me.

And some people want to keep us girls OUT of the military... tsk tsk. (I will admit that I could never supercharge a beer as well as they could, though.)

Seriously -- I gather that all kinds of folks faint for all kinds of reasons -- not to worry!
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