A call for help - donors needed

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A call for help - donors needed

Postby Cole Scuttle on Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:13 pm

I’m posting this thread because this is an issue that’s very important to me. A very close family member has recently been diagnosed with cancer, a disease that’s gone through my family like a buzz-saw and left a trail of devastation in its wake. There are many charities out there that fund research (Cancer Research itself being the obvious one) and Sieben’s upcoming charity stream event will raise money for this very worthwhile cause, so please give him your support. This thread is a separate entity from Sieben’s event and is not about giving money. It’s about giving something altogether more personal: blood.

I’m a registered blood donor and bone marrow donor and I currently hold a silver badge (i.e. between 24 and 49 donations). My blood group is O Rhesus Positive, one of the commonest groups out there. The National Blood Service is crying out for donors with these common groups because the majority of the population has them and, ergo, that means more people in need. Blood donations are not only used to treat trauma patients; they have many different applications. For instance, red cells can be used in cancer treatment. Blood components such as plasma and platelets can be separated and can be used to treat leukaemia, haemophilia, various forms of cancer, and blood diseases. But here’s the kicker: most donated blood components have a very short shelf life before they have to be disposed of. While plasma can be stored for up to a year, red cells only last 35 days and platelets, which are used to treat leukaemia and other cancers, survive for only SEVEN days. Blood platelets, incidentally, are the cells that cause clotting so that you don’t bleed to death if you cut your finger (haemophilia sufferers might). So because the stocks are so perishable, there’s a constant need for donors and there aren’t enough of them.

I recently signed onto the National Blood Service’s platelet donation register. Blood platelet donation is a more complicated procedure than straightforward whole blood donation. For one thing, it takes a lot longer, upwards of 90 minutes as opposed to whole blood donation, which takes less than 30 minutes. Platelet donation involves connecting the donor up to a machine that siphons off blood, separates the platelets and then gives the blood back again – something that feels a bit odd because in the time it takes for the machine to work, the blood cools down a little and you get a cold arm when it goes back in (although the chair you sit in has a heater to compensate for that). While you’re plugged into the machine you can read a book, surf the web courtesy of the free Wi-Fi, have a drink and a chat or whatever. You just sit back and let the machine do the hard graft while you pass the time as you please. It’s an easy and relaxing way to save or improve someone else’s life.

So what I’m asking for in this thread is that those of you who live in the United Kingdom follow the links below and consider signing up to be a whole blood, or blood platelet, donor. It doesn’t cost any money and can provide an immediate benefit for people who are in serious need. For those of you who live outside the UK, contact your health services and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

Thank-you.

http://www.blood.co.uk/index.aspx

http://www.blood.co.uk/platelets/


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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby ApacheFlame on Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:18 pm

The Anthony Nolan Trust is a charity set up in 1974 with the aim of creating a register of bone marrow donors. It is independent from the NHS blood service and funded by donations.

On average, every 20 minutes, somebody is diagnosed with a blood cancer in the UK. Often, if people are looking for bone marrow donors, they are running out of treatment options and if their family are not a match, a bone marrow register can be their last chance of survival. About 70% of people seeking bone marrow are not matches with their own family. Even with the Anthony Nolan register, only about half the people seeking donors find a suitable match. The chances of finding a suitable match are obviously increased with more people on the register. They are also desperate for donors from black, asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

So, we know that cancer is shitty, but what can you or I do? Well, there are 8 ways that the Nolan Trust say you can help. Some of them are monetary, some are medical and some are volunteering your time, all will help save lives.

The trust are desparate to hear from UK males aged 16-30. There are quite a few medical exclusion criteria, if you plan to donate, but if you are eligible then it is just a questionnaire and spit into a tube. That's it! It only takes a few minutes.

It's not just about cancer treatment. They are also involved in research too. Trying to improve the success of bone marrow transplants and the reletively new field of steam cell research, which has a world of applications aside from cancer treatment.

I understand that the idea of giving bone marrow or steam cells sounds daunting, but it really could save someones life. There again, you may never be a match for someone, but just being a potential match for someone is amazing.

Anthony Nolan produced a pretty nice video about the whole process, including if they ask you to donate:





Thanks for reading. Yes, we are trying to suck you dry of blood, platelets and steam cells, but the body is wonderful and creates more. If you are eligible, please try and give blood and spit into a tube for Anthony Nolan. You never know, you may need their help one day.

(I don't have anything to do with Anthony Nolan, just passionate about their cause, especially since I can't donate myself, I like to pester other people to.)
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby sweetamber92 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:21 am

im currently on the Anthony Nolan list and also an organ donor... but im yet to give blood as its rare that they come round to my closest town.. i think its like once a year.. it would be interesting to find out what blood type i am.. the problem with anthony nolen is because im small im only just tipping the 8 stone weight limit required... tho probably they'd discount it due to my size as im a healthy weight.. just a small person. ill have too look into the platelet donor thing tho i doubt they do it round here and i doubt they supplement travel costs.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Binerexis on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:59 am

I'm sadly not able to give blood due to some of my medication (namely immunosuppressants) but a lot of my family donates blood. Still, if I was able to, I'd give blood.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby ListerofSMEG-2 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:06 am

I'm 2 donations short of my Gold blood donation badge (50). Have also registered for platelets and bone marrow but have not donated either.

Giving blood is easy, pain free and actually healthy for the body as it means fresh blood is made which, in turn, cleans the existing blood supply.


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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Binerexis on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:32 am

I think what vampires do is more akin to blood re-appropriation :P
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby mfodor on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:02 pm

Not sure if platelets are a standard thing here, but regardless, now I'm inspired enough to attempt to donate my fluids!
The blood sucke... medical professionals... will be 10 cycling minutes from me two days from now. It's a sign from above, the flying spaghetti monster has spoken.

No clue what my blood type is. Do they determine it on the spot, and tell me? Or will I live in ignorance for the rest of my life.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Cole Scuttle on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:55 pm

Thank-you very much for doing this :)

For first-time donors they conduct blood tests before they take an actual donation, so your blood group comes out during that process. It's written on the paperwork that they give back to you, along with the complementary first-timer information packs.


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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby ApacheFlame on Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:53 pm

Ninja'd in the Anthony Nolan stuff into the second post.

All you have to do is make sure you are eligible to donate, fill in an online form, spit in a tube and wait to be asked to be the hero someone needs you to be. Simple.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Synaphix on Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:52 pm

I have given blood a few times years ago but with my current health situation and medication I doubt I am a suitable candidate at all - would be something I'd do again in the future if possible, does not hurt and does not take long at all and if you are suitable for it then I do recommend doing it.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Silkie on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:24 pm

I've tried in the past but every time I get a fairly extreme reaction despite all blood tests being very healthy. I've donated time and money to various charities such as cancer research for decades though. I'd love to try again but at the moment a medical problem means it's not very feasible.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby ApacheFlame on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:32 pm

I should say, nobody should feel bad for not donating in any way. Obviously I would love to encourage people to, but there are often reasons why donating is not practical, or possible. Thank you to all those that do or have thought about doing, but from my point of view this post was more raising awareness for people that have not considered it before.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby coldandtired on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:09 pm

I feel quite sad that I'm unable to donate blood here (anyone who spent 6 months+ in the UK during the BSE time is disqualified forever, from what I remember) as it's a truly worthy thing, and comes at almost zero cost to most people. Plus my blood is the universal receiver one so not that useful.

Here you even get given 900 grams of chocolate every time!
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Rico on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:55 pm

I used to give blood, but can't any more (that's what I was told, anyway, since I'm on warfarin). :(

Too old for the bone marrow register too. I'm still on the organ donor registers though, so that's something.
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Cole Scuttle on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:49 pm

That's a really good film that the Anthony Nolan Trust has done. I wish I had something comparable, but there doesn't seem anything comparable. However, this rather concise American movie covers pretty much all of the process even if the phone number at the end isn't relevant. It answers the technical questions more precisely than I could on my own even if the phone number at the end is irrelevant. The machine in use in the video is identical to the design used over here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvrQo9AYdDg

As Apache says, this is about raising awareness of a very important issue. We're not out to beat people over the head with this, just expose them to the possibilities out there.


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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Dauntless on Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:50 pm

We gave permission for the blood from my daughters umbilical cord/ other half's placenta when she was born last year to go to the Anthony Nolan Trust, I had my reservations but after spending a few hours going through it with them I knew it was for a worth while cause.

I'm on the donor list, everything but my eyes....

A lot of good causes out there. I spent this afternoon on a management survey with an asbestos company and as a smoker it was quite disturbing that I could be prone to lung cancer more than a normal smoker due to the previous encounters I may have had with asbestos. It's quite baad when you consider asbestos related deaths are on a par with prostate cancer.

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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Lionheart on Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:47 pm

Cole Scuttle wrote:Thank-you very much for doing this :)

For first-time donors they conduct blood tests before they take an actual donation, so your blood group comes out during that process. It's written on the paperwork that they give back to you, along with the complementary first-timer information packs.


Just curious - the first time you go to donate blood - they still take the blood donation, as well as a blood test - and they find out the blood group whilst there the first time?

I'm tempted to give blood and have considered it - just worry about fainting as I am rather thin/light :P
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby ApacheFlame on Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:16 pm

Hah! They assess you to make sure you are OK.

You have a couple of 'pre-tests' like pricking your finger and dropping into water (I think), to test if you are anaemic. Once they have asked all their questions, which you will have probably already been through on the website or something, you will go through and they will take the blood from you. It will be screened etc, but it is nothing to worry about.

When they take the blood you are lying down and they give you a cup of tea and a biscuit to make sure your blood sugar is OK afterwards. Just don't go to the gym and then out on the town afterwards, you will feel a bit crappy after :P

As long as you are not majorly needle phobic then I would just go with it and see what happens. What have you got to lose except an hour of your life and a pint of blood? You have 8 or so more!
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby Rico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:40 pm

A pint?! That's very nearly an armful!

http://youtu.be/pC1-Mrlm3TU?t=13m20s
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Re: A call for help - donors needed

Postby just annoying boo on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:36 pm

I can not look at needles, can't watch people having injections not even on tv........last year being a complete coward I wouldn't even prick my finger for a cholesterol test (which I still need to do) :oops:

But I have signed up to give blood and have my 1st appointment in 3 weeks time...might not sound like much but :shock: :D
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