Up until this week, I had donated 99 pints of blood in my lifetime. I started donating with my Mom when I was in high school. I suppose I’ve averaged several donations per year since then.
Today, I donated again. This time, I did what they call a double red cell donation. This is where the whole blood that is drawn goes directly into a machine that separates the red blood cells from the plasma. The red blood cells go into a bag that is used for the recipient. Actually, two bags are filled since it’s a double donation. The plasma is mixed with saline and returned back into my blood stream through the same needle.
This process is most beneficial for those of us with rare blood types, as it increases the supply for the Red Cross. My blood type is B negative, a type that only 1Â½% of us have. The double donation takes a bit longer, but it’s less time than actually doing two individual donations. Also, I’ll have to wait 112 days until my next donation, instead of just 56, but that’s fine.
So now I’m at a total of 101 pints donated. Three more and I’ll be at 13 gallons.