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Author Topic: Blood donations  (Read 5642 times)

Offline eddirichard

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Blood donations
« on: 21/06/2006 21:55:22 »
Do they have a physical benefit for me as a donor? Is donating every three months safe?


 

Offline neilep

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #1 on: 21/06/2006 22:15:28 »
Hi Ed,

Before you get some answers you might want to check out this similar veined thread from a short while ago http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1081

....Cripes !!..just realised it's over two years ago since I asked that !!!...blimey !!

Men are the same as women, just inside out !
« Last Edit: 21/06/2006 22:16:38 by neilep »
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #2 on: 21/06/2006 22:15:33 »
My impression- gleaned largely from the British NBS, who might be thought to have an angle...

I'd heard that it only takes a few days (possibly hours, less sure about that) to get back pretty much to as much blood as you had before... I think the issue is that this is done by mobilising iron stores (from ferritin, I assume) so repeated donation is likely to run down supplies. I know you're supposed to be able to donate platelets quite safely every couple of weeks (they separate them out then put the rest of the blood back).
Physical benefit to the donor? I think only on the insurance model (in the same way as you can derive financial benefit from paying your insurance premiums).
 

another_someone

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #3 on: 21/06/2006 22:46:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by rosy

My impression- gleaned largely from the British NBS, who might be thought to have an angle...

I'd heard that it only takes a few days (possibly hours, less sure about that) to get back pretty much to as much blood as you had before... I think the issue is that this is done by mobilising iron stores (from ferritin, I assume) so repeated donation is likely to run down supplies. I know you're supposed to be able to donate platelets quite safely every couple of weeks (they separate them out then put the rest of the blood back).
Physical benefit to the donor? I think only on the insurance model (in the same way as you can derive financial benefit from paying your insurance premiums).



Traditionally, bleeding was in the distant past seen as a beneficial medical practice, although ofcourse one man's meat is another's poison, so what may be beneficial to one will inevitably be harmful to another.

As for the financial benefits accrued from insurance, most of them go to the insurance companies.



George
« Last Edit: 21/06/2006 22:47:03 by another_someone »
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #4 on: 22/06/2006 12:01:43 »
Hmm... bleeding was used as a way of relieving fevers wasn't it? I'd expect suddenly losing a load of blood would reduce the temperature, but... er... not necessarily provide a long term benefit? Mind you they're using leeches agin now- tho' not really to remove blood so much as to prevent unwanted clotting at wounds.

Sure most of the benefit from insurance goes to the insurance companies.. if it didn't they wouldn't be in business. All the same, I think on balance I'd rather have, say, property insurance than not (not that there's any prospect of my ever owning a property, but if I did..).
 

another_someone

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #5 on: 22/06/2006 12:37:43 »
I believe there are also some conditions where one may have too much iron in the blood, and bleeding helps manage these situations.  Not sure if it may even have benefits for altitude sickness, but that is pure speculation on my part.

As for insurance, yes it does have its uses, but in general only when you are insuring against an extremely unlikely, but potentially very expensive, loss.  If you are insuring against an event of high probability, then one may suggest that the money you will get back from the insurance company will almost certainly be substantially less than the premiums you will be paying.  In such a case, if you can't afford the loss, then you can't afford the premiums either; and if you can afford the premiums, then you are better of investing the money yourself, and paying the loss out of your own pocket.



George
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #6 on: 22/06/2006 15:21:46 »
Yes, seems plausible.. tho' I think iron overload diseases are now more conventionally treated by chelation therapies, which remove iron with (reasonable) specificity without losing other useful stuff from the blood... but that may just be the over simplisitic view taken by my lecturer who is after all a chemist rather than any sort of clinician.

Insurance... yes, that would be the sort of circumstances I was thinking of. Not, in my view, a bad analogy for blood donation.
 

Offline eddirichard

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #7 on: 22/06/2006 17:00:16 »
I think I'll stop donating blood for now.
Thanks all.
 

another_someone

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #8 on: 22/06/2006 17:34:02 »
The problem ofcourse is that being a recipient of donated blood carries significant risks (unless it is your own blood, which is sometimes what is done when blood is used in operations, where advanced warning can be obtained as to its need).  Ofcourse, there are times when the risks of not obtaining blood is greater than that of obtaining blood, but it is not something that should be done lightly.  The worst case scenario was the kind of thing that happened in the Rumanian orphanages, where blood transfusion was a matter of routine, and lead to widespread HIV infections.  I believe that doctors are these days far more conservative in their use of blood then they used to be.



George
 

Offline iko

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #9 on: 08/09/2006 17:29:20 »
quote:
Do they have a physical benefit for me as a donor? Is donating every three months safe?
eddirichard

The only benefit from blood/plasma/platelet donation for the donor is being periodically checked by medical examination and routine blood tests. By medical supervision safe intervals are decided for each donor.
The enormous benefit is on 'the other side' and concerns patients, the recipients of blood donations: many of them do really get their lives back thanks to transfusions after major trauma, surgical operations, organ and bone marrow grafts, severe anemia and so on.
Voluntary blood donors save lives and together with health care systems and efficient schools represent a high expression of human society evolution.
iko
« Last Edit: 08/09/2006 17:30:34 by iko »
 

Offline iko

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Re: Blood donations
« Reply #10 on: 11/09/2006 22:00:38 »
quote:
I think I'll stop donating blood for now.
Thanks all.
eddirichard

Just for curiosity: why do you donate blood?
To feel better or get a sort of benefit?
Your soul may feel better, not your body!
Did anybody explain to you the basics of blood donation?
Please let me know
iko
« Last Edit: 11/09/2006 22:01:35 by iko »
 

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Re: Blood donations
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