Wednesday, December 03, 2014


So yesterday I went for another apheresis donation and thought about taking some photos. It was a little bit challenging as I had one arm that was busy, but here they are.

First they draw a blood sample from one arm (my left) to test my platelet count - if it is under 150 I cannot make the donation. Usually I have a count of between 170 and 190. Then in the other arm they hook you up to the centrifuge machine. Here is my arm with the tube coming from the needle that is in me under the small white square.

The machine is rather complicated but I can tell you one thing about it. Underneath the biggest green dial which is at the top of the main operational rectangle there is a transparent box that ends in a square funnel shape at the bottom. This container holds my blood after it has passed through the centrifuge and the platelets and plasma have been removed. It fills slowly and then once it is at the top, it empties out and is pumped back into me in the same hole in my arm that is used for the donation. Once the container is empty, the flow reverses and blood comes from me into the centrifuge and the container starts filling again.

The whole time the donation takes place I have this screen that is facing me to let me know how it is going. By the 47 minute mark I had completed my donation of plasma, was halfway through my platelet donation and still had 34 minutes to go. The total donation time was 81 minutes, though it takes five minutes for the machine to be ready and another five minutes at the end for the thing to wind down.

The place I do this is at Place Versailles where there is a Hema Quebec 'Globule' spot to give blood without appointment or to do an apheresis donation by appointment. To get there I take the metro to Radisson station. It takes half an hour on the metro, so normally I leave work at 10:30AM, get there at 11:00, the donation starts sometime within the next 15 minutes, and then I am back at the office by about 13:15 or 13:30, depending on how it goes.


Pat Hatt said...

Sounds like quite the process. Just had my iv thing today and took over an hour, gets boring sitting there.

Phil Plasma said...

I bring a device and keep myself one-handedly occupied.