Wow! What a feeling! After writing an article on blood donation on May 11 – Blood donation in UAE – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, i have finally made it a reality to really donate my blood!
This is indeed my first time. I was a bit scared not expecting what will happen. It is of course something to do with “extracting” my blood! I was not sure if I could really do it.
Well, I was to meet someone today, so I went to do so. On the way I noticed a Blood Donation van of the Ministry of Health, UAE. Then I remembered my desire of donating at least once. Fortunately or unfortunately, the guy was not there. So I decided to ‘check out’ the van! Still confused if I should do it. When I went to the van, it was lit from the inside and everything happening inside was very visible. I was indeed surprised at how clean and efficient all were. I watched for some time, then decided to do it.
There was a door at the back. Upon entering, you had to give your name and was asked if I was in the UAE for at least 6 months else I was not eligible to give blood. After registration, one doc took an interview and asked a few questions about my travel, surgery, illness etc and also checked my pressure. I passed!! Then I went to another room where another lady took blood and tested my group (O +ve) and also checked my hemoglobin level. My level was around 14 gm/dl. Guess that is normal.
After that I waited for my turn to the donating chair. There were 4 chairs, very comfy and very clean. Everyone was very clean and tidy. They worked with ease and no one looked tense. At least that gave me some confidence. Suddenly after some time, after noticing another donator’s blood pack swawing here and there, I wanted out! I saw them prick a thick needle right in the middle of the arm and slowly my fears surfaced again. What if they take too much blood, what if I faint, and many other what ifs. Then my name was called and I went.
I told the doctor that it was my first time. He said ‘No problem’ and brought a fresh pack. It contained empty blood bags attached with a lot of tubes. He placed the bag on a machine which moves up and down. I guess to stop it from clotting? No idea. Then he removed the cover from the thick needle. He told me to clench my fist and the inserted the needle. A slight discomfort, but nothing else. It was smooth sailing from then. He gave me a ball to squeeze on and all I had to do was relax and squeeze now and then. Finally the bag swelled like a balloon about to burst. I felt no discomfort nor dizziness so far. I was the same. He then removed the needle, packed off the blood bag and bandaged my arm.
Before leaving I had a bottle of strawberry juice and a banana!
It felt really good after donating. I really wish I had done this earlier. I do plan to give on a regular basis.
All of whom who havent yet donated blood, get up and do so now!
It could save a life…it could save your own!