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Go Ro

If you give blood in the UK, you'll know that something changes pretty much every time you go along: they're using a different kind of bandage, or they've taken away the Tuc sandwich crackers, or introduced yet another opportunity for you to recite your name, date of birth and postcode.

At last night's session, the Donor Carer who was hooking me up looked at my form and said "Oh - I just need to get you a label." She popped off for a moment and returned with a brown luggage tag, as if I were an evacuee. It read: 'RO'.

She explained that this was a new system they were trying, and I had a component in my blood that made it suitable for people with sickle cell anaemia.

"So you're going to help someone with sickle cell!" she said, which made my evening.

At home, I found this news release, which explains things in more detail. Turns out I have the Rhesus subtype Ro, which is often a match for people with conditions requiring regular transfusions.

My blood group is A positive, the second most common type, so it's cool that I have a rare subtype, and that from now on I'll know where my donation is most likely heading.

Another neat thing. Usually, when the donation is over I ask if I can stay lying down for a few minutes, because I have a horror of passing out. This time, however, I happened to have been looking at the CBT book on my Kindle while I was waiting to be called, in the section on safety behaviours and why you should challenge them. So when the nurse flipped my chair upright I just went with it, and it was fine. Suspect remaining in a reclining position was just contributing to the fear, and wandering off to get my lemon squash and prawn cocktail crisps is a much better course of action.


That sounds like a productive evening all round, then. Helping sickle cell sufferers and finding out something new about yourself. I can really see that particular safety behaviour being a tricky little bugger, as well, because I imagine fear of fainting is liable to make you feel... you guessed it, faint! Good on you for slaying it.
Thanks! Next time: not clutching my elbow in a vicelike death grip when instructed to 'put three fingers on that and press hard'!
When I am ruler of the world, I shall prohibit the abbreviation "CBT". Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compulsory Basic (motorcycle) Training, Computer-Based Training and Cock and Ball Torture don't sound like they overlap enough that there would ever be confusion, but oh boy there is!

Fortunately, Automatic Telling Machines, while they operate at a pressure of 1atm, use neither Adobe Type Manager nor Asynchronous Transfer Mode at the moment. Nor is either Active Traffic Management or Air Traffic Management relevant. Nor, especially, fortunately, ass-to-mouth.
Context, man, context!
Hey — I know you go two-wheeled, so presumably once upon a time did CBT. And probably have books about it. Which presumably discuss safety behaviours.

It wasn't until you said the book you were reading said they should be challenged that I shifted context and realised it had to be a different kind of safety behaviour and a different CBT. And even then, I know that safety is important in BDSM too, so briefly flirted with the possibility that was the one you'd meant before settling on cognitive behavioural therapy.

Which was, I hope, the correct one…
And, of course, the joy of the Kindle is that you could be reading any of those and nobody would be any the wiser.
I only know I'm A Positive due to my navy dogtags, previously I was of the opinion that it was just "red".

No idea if I've got any funky subtype, I'm not allowed to give blood, so there's never been any real opportunity to see.
I know I say this every time, but: I really hope that changes soon, and I voice this whenever the blood service asks for my opinion on anything.
Once upon a time, pebblepup was the only person I knew who had more reasons they were ineligible to give blood than I did. I used to count myself very fortunate mine were more numerous than they were serious. Poor Pebble. /-8

The clincher in my case is the drug that women must, if they get it in their blood stream, wait at least two years before becoming pregnant. Once I tell people that, they usually don't bother asking about any of the others.
I really miss giving blood and I wish I still could, but I can't because of having had a transfusion:(
Ironic that I benefitted from something I can't now contribute back to!
'Keep giving blood' is a hope and life goal of mine for more reasons than one: if I keep being able to, it will mean remaining healthy!

It's also weird that something supervised by health professionals can count you out like that. I'm never quite sure why.
Neat! I'm A1 Rh+ CcD.Ee Kell- myself ("D." stands for either "DD" or "Dd"; "Kell-" means "kk"); not particularly rare from what I know, but the place I go to used be very interested in my blood for platelet donations in the past, often going so far as to call and see if I could come in (which was possible every two weeks). They've stopped doing that, though, citing a decreased yield. Perhaps I should ask them about it again.

I'm reasonably sure I used to know my blood type in the MN system as well, but I don't recall and don't have it written down anywhere. Ah well.
Wow, that's way more information than I've ever been offered! The news release I linked to even says "we don't usually tell people any more than their blood group".

Well done for giving platelets! I've never fancied that, as it means being hooked up to the machine for so long - and I think it's only open to men at the moment, anyway.
They do put this information on your donor card here — quite useful, since if you're ever in an accident and need a blood transfusion, paramedics will check your wallet to see if you've got a donor card, and if so they'll be able to order the right kind of blood for you right away. You'd get it anyway, obviously, but it's still faster this way, and that can't hurt.

Giving platelets can be a bit of a chore, yeah. It took somewhere between 1,5 and 2 hours each time, and with needles in *both* arms, you're a little limited as to what you can do — though putting a magazine on your lap still works. You can turn pages if you're careful, or alternatively the nurses will be happy to do it for you. :)

It's only open to men in the UK? Interesting. It's been years since I've done it here, but I'm quite sure there were all sorts of folks there, men and women alike.

I don't think it's just men in the UK. A friend of mine does some sort of non-standard donation which I believe is platelets, and she's a girl.

I'm sure a year or two ago they restricted it to men, because I thought 'yay, there's my excuse'. But the rules do change pretty often!
I have my blood group on a keyring I was given for donating, which I wear on the zip of my bike jacket. Mind you, if I ever needed blood I'd hope they'd do a test rather than take my word for it!
Oh, yes, they absolutely would. Unless you were literally bleeding to death, you'd never be given blood without it having been made sure that it's the right kind for you.

Still it'll make things faster; instead of "we tested her and know what blood she needs, now we have to order that", it'll be "we tested her and know what blood she needs, and that's exactly the kind that's just arriving because we already ordered it earlier".

The keychain sounds like a good idea, too.
or introduced yet another opportunity for you to recite your name, date of birth and postcode.

She popped off for a moment and returned with a brown luggage tag, as if I were an evacuee.

Within a few sentences, I am sent from the nemesis of the Red Baron to a somewhat lost Peruvian bear. =:)

I've never had the opportunity to give blood, at least within the constraints of the administration, unfortunately, and can only feel gratitude towards those who do. I hope never to avail myself of the service in earnest, but it's there.

I do recall the tea being quite good when I partook of it in A&E, which almost made up for the various painkiller jabs and subsequent stitching.
Due to my history of occasional fainting, my notes used to say "COLD DRINK ONLY" as well as "GIVE EXTRA REST". Since the latter has obviously fallen off somewhere, perhaps I should risk a hot drink too? It would be coffee in my case, mind.
I could have had coffee? This is an outrageous omission!

(Seriously, the NHS reminds me how much I need to rouse up Green support)

Probably not coffee as you know it!
Can we get funding from Union Roasted for a new video of Star Trekkin'? "It's coffee, Jim, but not as we know it. Not as we know it, Jim."
Yay for fellow blood donor!!! Hadn't heard about sub-types before this...interesting!
*high five!*

Yeah, it was new to me too!