Thursday, January 06, 2011

Donating platelets

Yesterday I donated blood platelets at the NTR Blood bank at Banjara Hills. I had responded to a post on my company's bulletin board asking for help. Then, they had enough donors.But fortunately they had kept my number and called me again when they needed.
The process is pretty simple. First your blood sample is checked for a healthy match. This takes about 45 minutes. After this comes the real process which goes for about 60 to 80 minutes. In this process, a needle is inserted into your vein. The needle has 2 (or 3, I don't exactly remember) pipes to it. In an engineers simple language, one pipe is suction and the other is delivery. Both of these go into a 'washing machine' like equipment. The equipment has a touch screen on which the technician simply sets how much of platelets he wants and what should be the suction and delivery pressure. Once configured (IT consultant jargon - beat that!), the process is initiated and a progress bar appears (like the one appears when you transfer files in a Windows machine). When I saw the progress bar, my next fear was that I would see an 'Abort / Retry / Fail ' screen. :-)
Jokes apart (thankfully), the machines operates in cycles where it draws blood, removes platelets from it and pumps back the 'sada' blood back into your veins. Overall the experience was painless. Only little 'uncomfortable' part was when the blood was pumped back into the veins. Otherwise, without any pain or side-effect, I am 600 billion platelets lighter.
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