Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bloody Good Time

In a post from April 2009, I declared as ridiculous the overly cautious policies of the FDA that meant that I was prevented from ever again donating blood because of the suspicious results of a single blood test.  Specifically, despite being a longtime regular donor, I was put on the deferred list due to a positive result for Hepatitis C.

Everybody appreciates a high level of caution to protect the blood supply, but to ban someone over a single result -- not making any allowance for the possibility of false positives -- seemed to me to be too much.  So for the past 17 months, I've been unable to do anything except grow frustrated whenever I'd see occasional reports of critical blood shortages in the Raleigh area.

Until now, that is.  Thanks to a revised FDA policy, I was able to go back into the blood services unit for a retest earlier this month.

I got a letter in the mail today showing negative results on both of the tests used to detect Hep C, so I have been cleared for additional needle sticks.  And I'm wasting no time getting back into the routine: I'll donate platelets at the Red Cross donor center in Durham after work tomorrow.

I'm pretty happy about this.  I hate the needle part, to be perfectly honest (I'm one of those wimps who has to turn his head away when the tech inserts the needle), but the platelet donation process itself is extremely cool -- the pulling and pushing of blood, the centrifuge, the machinery whirring and clicking, the cool graphics showing flow rate & estimated time remaining, etc. -- and it's the closest I come these days to volunteer work.  I've really missed it over the last year and a half.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet!
    Good for you for following up on this. It is incredibly helpful to folks in need. There truly is no good artificial replacement.