Re: organ donation

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 08:43:03 MST

>From: Spike Jones <>

>Seems like there is a much better way. Currently there
>is a chronic shortage of blood, particularly O negative.
>Stanford uses two techniques to deal with the problem,
>both of them bad: first, they call all the regular bleeders
>asking for a donation (even if they are not eligible for
>having bled just last month) which is mildly irritating and
>tempts one to just say no, as well as making one less
>likely to donate in an actual emergency.

O negative blood is the universal donor, so it's always in short

The single reason hospitals are always short of blood?

Motorcycles, a motorcycle accident will eat up more blood than a
week of open heart surgery. When I was a surgical orderly I saw
motorcycle accident victims eat up 80 units of blood and still not

The economics are bad here, maybe you should have to donate so many
units before you can even think of purchasing a motorcycle...

>Second, they have started taking more blood from each
>donor, jumping directly from 420 to 500 ml. That is too
>big of a change for starters, but furthermore they do not
>adjust the size of the donation to the size of the donor.
>At 57 kg, I miss that 500 ml more than my 110 kg buddy
>who I have talked into donating.

Connsider apheresis, the Lexus of blood donation. I had my usual
monthly appointment on Saturday, they got two units of prime AB+
plasma (AB+ plasma is universal) AND two units of platelets. (size
matters! ;) ) Two units of platelets would normally mean spinning
down 16-20 units of blood. Since you get your red cells back, you
don't miss a thing, you replace the platelets in 24 hours. You can
donate as often as every two weeks. (platelets, 30 days for plasma)

It's easy, and you sit and watch a movie (The Score) during the
procedure which can take 2 hours. I go in first thing 07:30 and am
home by 10:00, with the whole day clear.

And consider signing up for the National Bone Marrow Registry at
the same time.

>What if, instead of offering 20 bucks cash, they would
>spend 20 bucks on a quickly chemical analysis of the
>blood, measuring iron levels, sugar, lipids, etc, to provide
>the donor with a few numbers she could keep in a
>spreadsheet. This way she could note trends or unusual
>readings, perhaps providing advance warning of medical
>problems, kind of a free and convenient mini-health
>screening with a bonus warm fuzzy.

This is a great idea! Actually they would just have to share this
data, since they test for a wide variety of problems including
STD's. If they spot a problem they will contact you immediately.

>Junkies and drunks would not likely care, and so would
>stay away, whereas this system would draw in the
>worried well, the hypochondriac crowd, the well fed
>vitamin-quaffing upwardly mobile, just the kind of
>blood you want filling your bank to overflowing. Could
>we not make some kind of electronic chip or device that
>measures a dozen different blood chemicals for 20 bucks
>each? I think we can. Furthermore the recipients would
>glaaaaadly pay 20 bucks a unit more for the blood
>knowing it came from the health conscious, eh? spike

As I mentioned they already make these tests they just need to
share the data.

I wasn't aware they had for-pay centers open anymore, I know the
Red-Cross program I donate to is so rigorous it would easily
exclude these types.

I want to encourage eveyone here to donate regularly, Extropians
are generous.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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