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Sunday, March 20, 2005

68 pints of blood on the wall

Just got back from a Blue Sundaze show. It wrapped up early, so I've got some reserve energy built up that I can expend before I crash, burn, spin, and auger into bed.

Today (well, technically yesterday as of this writing) was a big day. Dentist's appointment at 9:30, followed by a blood donation, then a car wash, then a trip to the bank, then order Chinese food, grab some groceries (milk and a copy of MAD Color Classics #11), pick up Chinese, eat, go online, nap, go to church, supper, walk Haley, go to Blue Sundaze show 50 miles away. Whee.

At the blood center I wondered aloud how much blood I've donated over the 13 years that I have been semi-regularly donating. The answer: counting today, 68 pints. There are two pints in a quart and four quarts in a gallon, so there are eight pints in each gallon. I have donated eight-and-a-half gallons of the finest vintage A-positive blood, at least some of which has certainly found its way into the veins of satisfied customers.

Many people who have donated blood in the U.S. did it only once - in the weeks following September 11, 2001. There was a huge outpouring of first-time donors after the terrorist attacks on the U.S., followed by a huge backlash when these donors learned that blood is perishable and must be used or destroyed within 42 days - so much of the excess blood donated during this period went unused and had to be destroyed. There was great resentment about this, and, sadly, the upshot of this is many of these people have decided never to donate again.

There are chronic blood shortages throughout this country. If you can, please make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible. Go to the website of the American Red Cross to see how.

1 comment:

dhkrauss said...

Nice to see blood being given willingly.

Instead of, y'know, taken by force.

I can't give blood. But I would if I could.