Blood Donation: My First Time.

Volunteering can give you a good feeling. Given money to organization can help them. But the people who need blood for whatever reason, depends on blood donors. I just wanted to contribute to this world with something that is always needed.
Just before I was ready to donate blood in the Netherlands, they discovered I had diabetes. Because I was using insulin, I couldn’t be a donor in the Netherlands. This was an old (still active) rule, because some insulin were made of cow parts. Nowadays it is mainly synthetic.

Now I am living in the United States and here I am able to donate blood.
During the summer months, the donations drops and there is a small shortage of it.

What to expect?

Fist Time Donor

After I was sure I was able to be a blood donor, I could easily make an appointment. In my case I did it via Stanford Blood Center.

When I arrived and my ID was verified, I had to answer some questions.
Because I had a different answer than expected, I had to explain it verbally and everything was fine.
Now my hemoglobin, heart rate and blood pressure were measured. My heart rate was below the 50, but I could show this was normal for me. I was cleared to be a blood donor.

Because this was my first time, I did get a very nice sticker and everybody was extra nice. Hopefully this will still be the case when I’m donating blood for the second time. 🙁

Donating blood

The total amount of time it took to give about a pint of blood (About 500ml) was 6 1/2 minutes. I was feeling fine, so after this procedure I could go to an area where you did get some (free) drinks and small snacks. After waiting for 15 minutes and still feeling good, I could leave the building.

And a second sticker was earned:


Walking in and out the building was done within 1 hour. And it was only a 10 min drive to the blood donation center.

Blood Types

There are different blood types. Mainly you have A, B, AB or O with a Rh of negative or positive.
Everybody with any bloodtype can receive O- and persons with O- can only receive O-.

Here is a compatibility table from Wikipedia.

Red Blood Cell Compatibility Table

Premature baby and infants are often given O-. When there is no time to test a patient for their bloodtype, Type O- is always a good start.

After about 4 weeks I received a card with my blood type. In my case it is O-.

Thank you note
A Thank You Note for Stanford

Donating blood is a small, painless procedure and you could save lives. About 3 lives can be saved with 1 blood donation.
Volunteering and raising money is always important and blood cannot be bought. It has to be given by somebody.

Think about it and just start donating, no matter which blood type you have.

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