Last week I went in to the American Red Cross building in Peoria to give blood for the first time. Even though I read all about what to expect when I went in, I had no clue what I was getting into or what it would be like. The pamphlet I had to read before going in for the interview and donation assured me that complications were extremely unlikely, and that there was absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
First off they took a blood sample, checked my blood pressure, and asked a whole bunch of awkward, but necessary, questions. It was weird, but I think it hurt more when they pricked my finger for the blood sample than when they stuck the tube into my arm…
After the interview, the nurse led me over to a soft table and told me to lie down. She started prepping my arm for insertion when the guy donating next to me completely lost it. He started to sit up, then his legs went limp, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he passed out. Instantly every nurse in the room was at his side trying to revive him. After about 3 minutes he came back around.
My nurse came back to my table and informed me that that rarely happens, and that I shouldn’t be worried. (I didn’t think that I had a worried look on my face, but I guess maybe I did.)
The rest of the donation went according to plan. It took about 5 to 10 minutes to pump the pint of blood out of my arm. I was expecting to feel a little light headed after I was done, but I didn’t – my guess is that the gallon of water I drank in the hour before I went in did the trick.
All-in-all I had a really good experience and can’t wait ’til I can do it again!