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May I ask a personal favor of you?


j_p
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Well, at least those of you over eighteen and 110 pounds.

 

Would you make an appointment to donate blood platelets tomorrow? And while you're donating, would you please seriously consider registering as a stem cell/bone marrow donor.

 

Donating platelets takes a bit longer than giving blood, and it can feel a little weird, but it's worth it. And they can get stem cells from your blood, so they don't have to drill holes in your bones.

 

Here are a couple of URLs for the U.S.

 

http://www.givelife2.org/donor/apheresis.asp#top%20idtop

 

http://www.marrow.org/cgi-bin/NETWORK/all_center.pl?ctr_typ=DC&sort_order=ctr_st

 

You will save a life. If you are of Azorean or Native American Indian descent, it might be the life of some-one very dear to me. They can't find a bone marrow donor, and without a transplant she will die. Probably very soon.

 

The rest of you are not off the hook; they are not certain that the very rare factor is due to her Azorean or NAI descent. Besides, there's some-one else out there whose heart is breaking because a person they love is dying.

 

So I am asking you, personally, to do this favor for me. We need your blood; please donate and register. And bring a friend.

_________________

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I've tried but I just don't seem to bleed.

 

The same thing happens everytime, the bag fills up about 1/4 full then the blood stops flowing. This has happened 5 times in a row now, and I've just decided that donating blood isn't going to work.

 

My body just refused to share any blood. It's pretty greedy and there is nothing I can do :-(

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My body just refused to share any blood. It's pretty greedy and there is nothing I can do :-(

 

Don't feel too bad about it... donating blood is about the only charitable cause practically everybody I've talked do does (if they are physically able to, of course).

 

besides, I always thought the blood donations are just an attempt by the government to appease the subversive vampire groups. :P

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I am not legally allowed to donate blood. I think here in New york you can be 16 and do it.

 

I believe they changed it to 16 last year (16 and 17 with parental permission of course)

 

edit: yeah, I remember that George Steinbrenner gave free yankee tickets to the high school that donated the most blood per student.

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While we are on the topic of blood can you tell me wat the hell unviersal donor means. I mean the blood we are donating should be compatible with our blood. So how is o- a universal donor.

Pretty much what the others said: O- blood can be given to anybody, because it's pretty much neutral, making O- donors 'universal donors' insofar as what they donate can be given to the entire population (more or less). People of any other type, e.g. A+ (like me) can only donate to other A types (A+, A- or AB), although A+ blood tends to be high in platelets, so A+ donors often have their blood spun down for packed cells and platelets rather than just whole blood.

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The textbook definition (from Genetics: Analysis of Genes and Genomes, 5th Edition by Hartl and Jones).

 

This is a simplified version. The A, B and O red blood cells have different polysaccharide groups on their surface. People who have AA allele type have the A polysaccharide, and therefore have type A blood. People who have BB allele type have the B polysaccharide, and therefore have type B blood. People who have AB allele type have both polysaccharides on the red blood cell surface (codominance). The O allele has no polysaccharides and it is recesssive such that two OO alleles mean that the individual has an O blood type, AO means you have an A blood type (because O is recessive), likewise, BO is B blood type.

 

The polysaccharide groups can be thought of as antigens, because they can be recognized by antibodies. Antibodies basically recognize viruses and bacteria by recognizing structural components. This can cause a signaling cascade that induces macrophages or the antibodies can cause the molecules with the antigen to aggregate.

 

There is some mechanism that prevents an individual from producing antibodies against its own antigens (I don't know what this mechanism is) but people who can produce antibodies against foreign blood cells will and this causes agglutination (clots) of the red blood cells. In particular:

 

People of blood type OO make both anti-A and anti-B antibodies, they are a universal DONOR because they don't have any polysaccarides. But they can only accept type OO blood because type A or B will be recognized by their antibodies.

People of blood type AB make no antibodies because they have both the A and B antigens. Therefore, they are a universal receiver, but they can only donate blood to type AB people.

It's pretty easy to figure out the other ones (AA, AO, BB, BO) through logic.

 

Possibly the evolutionary reason why there are different alleles is that they are simply mutations of one original blood allele. The mutations do not seem to affect fitness, so I suggest that the alleles may have become common through genetic drift and other stochastic events.

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I started to donate blood just after my 16th birthday. Im fine with needles and the donating bit but for about a week after I felt really crap. Like I wasnt hungrey, I was always cold and couldnt get warm and I got a bad cough. About a week after i'd lost 5kg from not eating much.

 

I'm still 16 and thinking about donating again but I don't want to go through that again because it was hell. Hopefully that only happens the first time.

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I live in scotland and have being doing both since i was 17(different age here). it isn't as painful as you might think. if you close your eyes the only way you now the needle is in is whe you feel the tube getting warm. go for it. it makes a cheap night out.

 

Thank you.

 

It's also a really good way to get screened every two weeks [that's how often you can donate platelets] for, among other things, cancer.

 

In the U.S., it's 17 to give blood, but 18 to register as a bone marrow/stem cell donor.

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I, too, am a lousy bleeder, with miserable and miserly veins. I am the only person I know who actively dislikes giving blood. I don't mind needles, I don't mind blood, I just can't bleed.

 

So, I drink lots of water and cut down on the caffeine and take vitamins and eat steak. I still take an embarassingly long time, but at least they don't unhook me and reject my donation because I can't fill the bag anymore.

 

Thank you all for your donations. Now go ask a friend to join you.

 

My loved one is in the first round of chemo; I plan to visit tomorrow.

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About blood, if cells don't need those polysacharides on them, if they can survive without them, why not simply create an enzyme which breaks down the A polysacharide, and the B polysacharide, so that your left with O type blood?

 

It's worth a shot, if it worked you'd have a near limitless amount of universal blood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, just checking in, has any-one become a new platelet donor or registered stem cell donor?

 

People are reluctant because platelets take longer to donate, and because many do not know that stem cells can be harvested from the blood and do not require mining the bone marrow. But it's a cheap good deed; how often do you get to safe a life by just hanging around in bed watching a movie?

 

This isn't just for my little beloved; lots of people need donors. My greatest hope is that I get called up as a donor for any-one next year.

 

So, make it your New Year's resolution to donate platelets as soon as your get over your hang-overs.

 

And bring a friend.

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