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Old 09-08-2006, 09:14 PM   #1
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Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

Since I'm O+ and involved in community service, I decided that I should donate blood (even though I hate needles). I starting giving about four years ago. I donated twice a year or so for three years. The only problem that I had was that the two times that I gave through LifeSouth, they stuck me with the needle and then had to twist it a handful of times to get my blood to flow. One time I no blood came out. I figured that it was just LifeSouth.

Last winter I went in to give a donation through the Red Cross. The stick was effortless. But it took me at least 15 minutes to fill the first bag. In fact, another came in ten minutes after me and finished ten minutes before I finished. I figured it was because I was cold (my temp was 97.5).

A couple of weeks ago though the same thing happened. I gave through LifeSouth; but they stopped me after 20 minutes because of safety concerns. And they told me that they were going to have to discard the bag and a half that I could fill in my time there since it wasn't a "full donation."

Thick blood? Small veins? Low body temperature? Could something be wrong? I'd like to keep donating; but I don't want to waste everyone's time.

 
Old 09-09-2006, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

I have a very similar problem. I figure I've had over 25 blood tests in the last 18 months. The last few have been quite problematic in that the blood flows very slowly so that getting more than 2 vials is often a challenge. The lab tech told me it's because my veins have sunk very deep and it has nothing to do with any illnesses. I believe her. I now drink "tons" of water at least 24 hours before I go for bloodwork and it really seems to help. Might be worth a try.
Les

 
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

Thanks for the advice. Hope it helps. Good luck with your health problems. Get well soon.

 
Old 11-29-2006, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

I am like you both. Have wanted to give blood all my life and have tried many times and have been unsuccessful filling up the bag. All of my coworkers try to get me to "try again" but I know I will come out full of bruises and it will be a waste of time. I have rolly small veins that collapse alot. Thank god when I go to my regular doctor his nurse knows that there is only one vein he can use and it takes forever to get a one vial out. I hate trying to give blood because I usually come out looking like I have been shooting up. No one listens that I have crappy veins.
I guess we are just the unlucky ones and have to give back to society in other ways....

 
Old 11-30-2006, 01:17 AM   #5
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

Hey i just wanted to say thank you guys for giving Blood i am o+ and in augest i was hospitalized with a hemoglobin of 27 and needed 11 units after i was realesed i have needed another 4 and if my blood keeps falling will need somemore thanks for keeping mpeople like me alive and doing what u do they do not know whats wrong with me after countless tests but my hemoglobin has been good for about 2 months has only dropped 15 in t months where the month befor it dropped 38...

 
Old 11-30-2006, 05:00 AM   #6
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

Thick blood, too many red blood cells, can cause that problem. The cells clump together stops the flow or clogs the needle.

Drink a lot of water before giving, take a baby asprin & a ginko tablet the morning of givin. They will thin the blood a bit.

Then give every 2 months to keep the blood thinned out.

 
Old 01-11-2007, 10:10 AM   #7
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BiggerMac HB User
Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by JinL
Thick blood, too many red blood cells, can cause that problem. The cells clump together stops the flow or clogs the needle.

Drink a lot of water before giving, take a baby asprin & a ginko tablet the morning of givin. They will thin the blood a bit.

Then give every 2 months to keep the blood thinned out.
I had that problem for some time. Recently the cause was isolated... polycythemia rubra vera. I'd suggest that you keep an eye on it by regular blood testing specifically targeting red blood counts and hemicrit. My doc missed the symptoms for a long time. I'm under treatment now and no longer eligible for donating blood.

 
Old 01-11-2007, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

LOTS of water. That's the key. I'm the same way; it is hard for me to get enough blood going to make any kind of donation (whether for labs or for blood donation). I hydrate a lot the day before and the morning of, now, and it makes a world of difference.

 
Old 01-13-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Very Slow Blood Donations...Could Something Be Wrong

I used to donate blood and platelets all the time with a couple of good friends.

One of my friends used to have very slow blood. We would tease him about it, as the other man would be done very quickly, I'd be done relatively quickly, and we'd always get stuck waiting for the 3rd.

One of the Red Cross people told him to drink more fluids the week before and it helped immensely.

Ironically, the same thing would happen with platelets. I had so many platelets and the RC would take a double donation from me and the 1st friend, but the slow blood guy they would get just one bag from him and it would take longer than either of us with 2. They told him to drink not just fluids, but make sure to get plenty of calcium the week before donating platelets.

It was my platelet donation that led to my discovery that I was now making "too many" (over 500,000) platelets and I found out that I have ET and can no longer donate blood or platelets. It felt good to know that I was helping others, especially since I was a universal donor and as weird as it sounds, I miss donating blood.

So, to the OP, try increasing your fluids for several days before you plan to donate. It just might help.

 
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