Tuesday, September 09, 2014

apheresis and the clogs

So I went for my third ever apheresis donation today. They don't use both arms, they use one and pull, then push, then pull, then push. Only the pull isn't a pull, it is also a push, but the push depends on my own pump and the pipe they use in my arm from which to draw the liquid. My pump is strong with my diastolic and systolic almost always bang on the traditional good health readings, but the pipe in my arm is kinda small and it partially collapses periodically during the 75 minute apheresis procedure. This causes an alarm on the machine they use to do the withdrawal/centrifuge/deposit and it requires one of the staff to come and hit a button to 'continue' the procedure. The alarm is so that the staff can verify that everything is okay.

As my platelet free blood is returned to me it is lower than body temperature so I can feel a coolness entering my arm at the pipe junction. Knowing this is the case, the staff always smother the donor with blankets to keep us cozy. Normally, during this procedure I feel a tingly sensation in my gums and my lips. Curious that I should feel the sensation there.

I have switched from regular blood donations to apheresis because regular donations can only be done every 56 days while apheresis can be done every 14 days. Also, as it was explained to me, cancer patients fare better with a platelet donation from a single donor through apheresis as compared to a platelet extraction from five different regular blood donations.

1 comment:

Zhoen said...

Lots of nerve endings in lips and tongue, early warning system.