Sunday, February 10, 2008

No good deed....

For the last 8 years or so, I have given blood almost like clockwork. You are eligible to give every two months, and I have tried my best to stick to that schedule. In fact, when I gave blood last October, I received a pretty nice looking desk plaque in honor of the fact that I had given a total of 3 gallons of my lifeforce.

In the years that I have given blood, I became used to the rigmarole I had to endure each time as soon as the person who in-processed me found out that I spent two years in Germany with the Army. Because of the Mad Cow Disease scare that gripped Europe, one of the red flags for would-be donators is if a certain amount of years was spent in just about any European country. Every time you give blood, you must mark down if you have spent a significant amount of time in Europe, and every time my mark was noted, the blood person would pull out the binder, and follow the flow chart to determine whether or not I was eligible. I saw that flow chart on so many occasions and at different blood locations, that I became an expert on it.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I went in to give my routine blood donation, and I was denied by a rather indignant representative of BloodSource. The flow chart had changed, and whereas before, the dates I had spent in Germany hadn't disqualified me from giving blood, now the dates have changed, and I am now indefinitely ineligible to give blood. I had a slightly heated conversation with the blood lady, not because I was trying to talk her into letting me give blood, but because she was under the impression that all the other blood people who had served me before had messed up. She kept shaking her head and expressing her wonderment that I had been allowed to give blood all these years, not realizing that she was insulting me as well, because I'm not stupid - I can read their flow chart too, and for years it said that I was eligible. I told her that I have given blood dozens of times at three different locations in the Sacramento area, and each and every time, they pulled out that binder when they found out I was stationed in Germany. They didn't screw up - the rules had been changed.

I walked out of the bloodmobile with my certificate for a free Round Table Pizza and a major case of the ass, having been rejected from doing something I have had no problem doing for almost the last decade. I couldn't help but wonder, if my blood is not acceptable now, what about the three gallons I have given up to this point? I'll tell you one thing, if you have ever seen the questionnaire you must fill out every time you give blood - with an affirmative answer on any of the dozens of questions disqualifying you from giving blood - I am starting to wonder if there is going to be anyone left who qualifies.

The height of absurdity is that while they make the requirements for giving blood more and more stringent, the phone calls I get from the blood people every other month make it clear that they are constantly desperate for donations. Good luck to them.

Good Day to You, Sir


Don, American said...

They must have found out you have Conservative blood, so you couldn't possibly care about others. I'm on blood thinners, but that's not the cause of my conservatism; liberals are.

Polski3 said...

Thanks for all you have contributed to the vampires ( which is what I call the blood collection agencies ). Sorry to hear they are now rejecting you. Did the Military use European beef or did they bring it in from the US, Brazil, Argentina or Australia? You might want to find out so you can resume donating ?

Between United Blood Service and the San Diego Blood Bank, they have gotten over 12 gallons out of me over the past 30 years. It is too bad more people don't do this. They'll still take mine since I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. But I've never been to Europe or Africa (yet). But now, I have to stay away from their OJ and cookies.

Don, American said...

I ate what I suspect was horse meat while serving in France. Do you think that would have disqualified me before the blood thinners?