All eyes were on April the giraffe recently when she gave birth on a live webcam. One captured moment included April’s long neck reaching down towards the ground to accept a kiss from her handler. A picture like that really makes clear that the giraffe is the tallest living animal in the world. And baby giraffes are born taller than most humans! Their long necks help them reach leaves high above in the tree canopy, where other herbivores can’t reach. During mating season, the male giraffe’s neck becomes a weapon used to fight off the competition. But that neck provides a long journey from the heart to the head. What keeps the blood flowing?
About ten years ago, frequent platelet donor Randy wouldn’t even consider giving blood. He understood the importance of blood donation, but was not a donor himself because of an “irrational fear of the unknown – would it hurt, would [he] faint, [does] he have to see the blood?” But Randy decided he should at least try donating once before writing it off altogether; it was too important not to give it a try. After his first donation, Randy was relieved. He realized that being a blood donor wasn’t scary or painful at all, and the impact on others was profound, so he continued to donate platelets regularly.
Randy channels his passion for donating blood into recruiting new blood donors for this ever-important need. He started with his sons – when they were 16- and 18- years old, Randy took them to their first donation. While donating, he had an idea to make the process a little more interesting by seeing who could donate the fastest… an idea which ultimately stuck.
Written by: Dianne Geary, technical hospital relations manager
For those of you that have donated blood before, you are familiar with the routine; the whole blood donor is asked a bunch of questions, has a mini physical and passes the test. Now he or she is led to the donor bed and lies down on the bed and tries to get comfortable. One of Stanford Blood Center’s wonderful nursing staff prepares the arm by cleaning the arm area, then unsheathes the needle and begins the phlebotomy (or pokes the person’s arm).
The donor staff fiddles with the blood bag and fills five tubes of blood and sets them with the blood bag that gently rocks on the donor scale. The donor scale stops the blood donation when the blood bag is filled. The needle is removed from the donor and the donation is sent to the segment area. The donor goes to the recovery area and has POG and cookies.
Every 10 minutes, a new patient is added to the national organ transplant waiting list. To raise awareness of this significant need, Donate Life America has designated April as National Donate Life Month. It’s a time to recognize the life-saving potential of that little pink dot on your driver’s license!
As of the publication of this article, over 118,000 people are waiting for an organ, with over 2,000 of those being kids. Signing up for organ, eye and tissue donation can mean saving the life of a patient with no other course for survival.
When out in the community, we often receive questions from potential donors who aren’t sure if they are eligible to donate blood. Because blood donation is so important to support patients, and Stanford Blood Center needs new donors all the time, we hope this blog helps shed some light on whether or not you can donate. Here are some of the more common deferral questions we receive:
You can still express yourself through the art of tattoo and donate blood to help save the lives of local patients. As long as your tattoos were obtained in a California State regulated entity, you can schedule an appointment to donate. You will, however, be deferred for 12 months from the date you obtained your tattoo if you obtained it outside of California or in California at a non-regulated entity.