Hello everyone, my name is Thuy (pronounced Twee) and I’m a platelet donor at the Connecticut American Red Cross in Farmington, CT. If you don’t know the difference between a whole blood donation and platelet donation you can read more on the Red Cross website here. Here’s an infographic about my platelet journey, thus far as well as the reasons people donate from all over the country:
On March 23, 2016, I donated blood to the Red Cross for the second time in college. I wanted to do it in high school, but there are specific restrictions and back then I wasn’t old enough, tall enough, or heavy enough.
Red Cross Procedures
First, I set an appointment, filled out a form with all my information, and then I had to take a basic physical. On my first donation they gave me a green sticker to wear. This meant I was a first-timer. They told me I had a faint pulse and he couldn’t hear it well enough to take my blood pressure. In other words, Someone else had to take a listen. Then they pricked my finger to see if my iron levels were good. It was a 14.8 and they said it was acceptable. I went through an online evaluation to see if I qualified to give blood and I did.
The Red Cross volunteer sterilized my arm, inserted the needle, but she missed the vein and had to adjust it. In about 8 minutes the bag was full. In other words, the blood was ready to be tested, distributed, and potentially save three lives. I had to stay a few extra minutes after donating to make sure I was okay. They provide snacks and drinks at the end of your donation.
I set another appointment shortly after before I left. As a bonus, we also got a free shirt and $5 gift card. I enjoyed giving blood because I support the cause and definitely am doing it again.
Be nice to me. I GAVE BLOOD TODAY.
Do you Donate Blood?
Since this article, I have donated whole blood six times and switched to platelet donation. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me about your American Red Cross experience.