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  1. #1
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    Default Any problems with donating blood?

    The Red Cross is always saying they have a "shortage." My wife and son have tried to be regular donors. I stopped giving after being treated rudely a few years back.The Motos has been turned away several times: #1 after a tatoo( no problem), #2 after she returned from Ireland, #3,4,5 low iron But she subsequently tested normal at her Md's, #6 she was going to show our daughter how the proceedure went and the nurse had a cow because she was letting our daughter observe her medical history. The MOTOS informed the lady" It's my medical hx, I'll put it in the newspaper if I so please." That's the last time she's gone.

    Today, my son stopped to give on his way home from work. He didn't bother to come home and change first,(he's a medic). The nurse noted his uniform and informed him that he couldn't donate because he may have been exposed to Tb or hepatitis. Now mind you, his agency tests quarterly for Tb and he's had the hep series. Then she yells out in the middle of all the activity for another nurse to come over" cause we've got an issue here." So much for privacy.

    Has anyone else had difficulty donating due to being a nurse,medic,corrections officer,police or any other job exposure? I've been a resp. therapist for 20+ years and never had a problem. Is this all something new or just a local issue in my area and the staff here particularly rude.


  2. #2
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    Default

    They wouldn't let my wife (RN) donate blood for our son because of a "rash". It was actually goosebumps because it was about 55 degrees in the building. They were rude as hell. My guess is that they pay these people dirt and they get the bottom of the barrel.

    I have since, only donated at a hospital.

  3. #3
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree, that it is most likely a staff issue....

    I know the last time I went, I watched the nurse dig around in one kids arm (this was a high school sponsored event, and he was a senior) for probably 3-4 minutes. She kept fiddling around until the kid passed out. I was actually on the cot behind him (I was to be next) and my pager went off for a run, so I got up to leave, informing them of the situation, and they had a fit because I was leaving.

    I will say that we have a few guys on the department that give regularly (I can't remember how long you have to wait between donations, but they go just about as soon as they are allowed) and I don't believe either of them have ever had any problems like that.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    '77.....maybe sleepy, or the Woj or someone should throw the 14 in em before they go ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  5. #5
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    I donate to the ARC just once a year, when my Local sponsors a blood drive. I have had "problems" before, like having the screener tell me that I don't know my blood type, the time and date of my last donation (she actually asked me what time as in hour I donated 8 weeks prior, as it would "figure into my eligibility"... I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, and after 38 donations previuosly to the ARC and an equal if not more amount to UMass Medical Center, I think I know my blood type!) The rest of the time I go to UMass Medical Center..not only are they courteous and friendly, but it's like Cheers (they know my name) and they give out T shirts and other neat after a certain number of donations, a four dollar gift certificate good at the UMASs Med Center bookstore and cafeteria and the food in their canteen area is a lot better!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  6. #6
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any problems with donating blood?

    I've donated twice in uniform (with my EMT patch on the shoulder) at department-sponsored drives and several other times wearing a department t-shirt, and never had a problem. In fact, I've had several discussions about EMS with the ARC staff while they're doing the checks and during the donation, and not a one's made any issue of potential exposures. Same goes for quite a few other members of our department who donate regularly.

    Originally posted by flathead
    The nurse noted his uniform and informed him that he couldn't donate because he may have been exposed to Tb or hepatitis.
    The pre-donation questionnaire asks about possible Hep exposure, so if you answer no to that, it shouldn't be an issue (especially since they're going to test the blood anyway before putting it in the system). As for TB, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's not considered a "bloodborne" pathogen, so why should it matter?

    As far as personal problems, first time I donated, they tried to use my left arm, and ended up infiltrating the vein. Had a nasty bruise for a week or so after that. The next time, they tried my left arm again, and hit a nerve. Hurt like heck and ended up with numbness for a week or so. Now, they just use my right arm.
    Last edited by SafetyPro; 09-02-2004 at 01:05 PM.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber latigo's Avatar
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    Unhappy As a former Phleb, NOT ARC...

    I have issues with the ARC re: blood donations. They do not serve the hospitals here, but continue to have blood drives in this area. To me, that is unethical. They come accross as serving the local hospitals, but charge 3-4 times more for the blood than the local blood center. They ship the blood out, to cover other areas they serve. Great for the other areas, not so great for locals. They also push very hard for donors, I know of a drive not too far away where they gave out a big screen tv in a raffle.

    For the confidentiality issue re: your daughter listening, that IS FDA regulation. I won't bash the screener for that, as I have done it, too. I don't know, and you don't know, whether an FDA inspector was there that day. If one was, and this was observed, BIG FINE.

    The kid passing out, it does happen. I have seen had people have seizures on me. Pretty freaky, but it does happen. The center I worked for, we might try a minute or so, but that was it. If the donor allowed, we might look at the other arm. The one thing I didn't like, was we did not turn many people away once they got in the chair, we at least tried to get a vein. I discussed this issue with management, and that might be changing, but I left there. In EMS, I can go with a smaller catheter, or look in other areas, but we were restricted to the AC, and only had 16gauge, that looked bigger to me.

    As for donating while on call, I have to say, if you are in the chair, sit that call out. If you can't, don't donate that day. We took responsibility for our donors, and I have been involved with more than 1 going to the ER. We foot the bill then. One presented as a cardiac during donation, but we paid the bill. It wasn't our fault, the donor might not have known, but we paid the bill for a full cardiac workup. There is also a policy with ABC that on-duty EMS, Fire, and police don't donate. That is because it is considered a hazardous occupation, and if you pass out on duty, you could be killed or kill someone else. Not likely, but possible.

    The HCT or "iron level" is set high to donate, 42% which is about a 14. Your doctor may very well say you are fine, but it may not be high enough to donate. This is also an FDA regulation. We had one drive on a hot day where everyone in the factory was low as they had been drinking a lot, and were very well hydrated. The drive was a bust, we knew why, but Federal Regs are law.

    As for the time of day, that is extreme, 56 days is 56 days. Another FDA reg. But, you don't have to get down to hours. Also, many of the "nurses" are not nurses. They are Phlebotomists. I know in my state, you don't need any official training, just OTJ training. Anyone walking in off of the street, no matter their past skills, etc, is eligible to become a phlebe. I helped train people with no medical experience at all. Before me, EMTs/Paramedics were not desired due to a former bad experience. So, many had no prior experience in healthcare.

    It sounds like your locals are pretty rude for the most part. With your son and the Hep-TB issue, that was just dumb. Have never heard of that at all. Unless they changed the regs in the last 30 days, he would be a fine donor. Of course, the staff may have just been lazy that day, and not wanted to actually work for their money. Go find an America's Blood Centers affiliate to donate to. It sure beats supporting the ARC.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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