Are you kidding me?

18 Nov

It so happens that I have the rarest of blood types. Only 1% of the population (it’s actually only one in 167 people) are AB negative.

This means that I am a universal donor for both plasma and platelets, and that I can donate both up to 13 times a year. Both plasma and platelets are used in the treatment of burns and cancer, and blood banks are always in need of donations.

So, tell me, Red Cross. How come I cannot find a place to donate, within reasonable driving distance, with phone operators who won’t tell me to “look it up online” when I’m asking for information?

Also, it would really be nice if your donation centers were open while donors are not at work.


Here endeth the (current) rant.


(I did find a place, but by the love of all that’s good and pretty, why the fuck do you have to make it that hard???)


5 Responses to “Are you kidding me?”

  1. Lori 18/11/2014 at 2:30 PM #

    I can’t donate usually cause I’m iron deficient. And it’s so important to do so.

    • azteclady 18/11/2014 at 2:33 PM #

      Way back when–about a dozen years ago–I donated plasma every four weeks. I did this for about three years, no problem. The center was open on Sundays, and they gave you breakfast with your movie and blankets (’cause yeah, an hour laying there, you get REALLY cold).

      They closed that center, and now it’s like a nightmare gauntlet to find out where you can donate, let alone when!

      I don’t get it.

  2. Julaine 20/11/2014 at 8:25 PM #

    On the behalf of everyone whose life you might have saved or whose quality of life was positively influenced by your selfless gift, I thank you. It should NEVER be hard for you to do this. Donating blood is safe, easy and relatively painless yet profoundly vital to the hundreds of thousands of people that are desperately in need.

    My husband died of myleodsplastic syndrome (MDS) at the age of 50. MDS is in the same class of cancers as leukemia and is sometimes a precursor to a particularly virulent type of that disease. Another name is cancer of the hemoglobin. It’s victims typically are male and overwhelming elderly. (my husband was an outlier by more than 2.5 decades) Often the only cure is a stem cell transplant. But prior to that the only real respite from the disease is blood and platelet transfusions. He received over 400 GALLONS of blood in the 4.5 years he fought the disease.

    Without people like you he would have died in his mid forties leaving two teenage children instead of one. I wouldn’t have the memories of his last years to substain me and his parents would have had to bury their only child that much sooner. So please know that you having my unending gratitude. For all the people whose lives you touched who will never know your name but who are in your debt, once again, thank you.

    Please speak to your doctor or another healthcare professional. There is too great a need for your blood type. I am sure they can help you find a center that will be ready, willing, able and sincerely grateful to take your gift.

    • azteclady 20/11/2014 at 8:42 PM #

      Please accept my condolences for your loss, Julaine.

      It is a privilege to be able to help someone–anyone.

      Long ago, before life got in the way, I donated blood and plasma regularly, but the center closed in the intervening years, which led to the rant above.

      I did find a place relatively close, which is also open when I’m not at work, that has the plasmapheresis equipment.

      My boss, who is awesome, and whose mother is fighting leukemia, is letting me skip out early one day the first week of December for the first visit (after so long without donating, they have to do a full evaluation of both my own health and my blood, which usually takes several hours).

      After that, all things being equal, I should be able to donate plasma regularly, once or twice a more, if not more often. Here’s hoping.


  1. A step forward and a mile back | Her Hands, My Hands - 23/12/2014

    […] I blogged about my difficulties in finding a facility where I could donate […]

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