The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Blood Disposal

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That’s the 4th pint of blood removed from my veins in the past few weeks, and unlike previous times, this time I gushed – the entire bag was full in less than 10 minutes. Still, I wish they had a system that required a smaller needle and less initial pain.

It doesn’t particularly help that the local GPs & nurses at the local health centre aren’t generally used to taking pints of blood in a single go. Sure they’re always taking small amounts for samples and tests, but that requires only small needles, and it’s the suction of the syringe that draws out the blood. When taking as much as half a litre the blood needs to fill the bag under it’s own pressure. Thus the needle needs to be longer and wider to allow the blood to flow more easily.

The ones who are best trained to take blood simply and with minimum discomfort are of course the National Blood Service or the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. This would have the double benefit of being treated by someone who has fewer problems finding the right place to shove the needle in, while simultaneously contributing to the massive shortfall of blood required by the National Health Service.

Unfortunately, the blood donation services are not allowed to accept blood from people with the genetic form of Haemochromatosis, despite the fact it is neither harmful nor transferable to the recipient. There are moves afoot to try and change this, but even when it comes, they still will not be allowing more than 4 donations a year.

What a waste.

So what to do with all this extra, non-usable blood being taken from me every fortnight? Well, I had an idea while the last drops were dripping out of my arm and my head was floating in a light and fuzzy way.

Black Pudding*.

Pig’s blood is traditionally used, but I don’t see why my blood wouldn’t be just as tasty or nutritious. Either I could do a deal with one of the local butchers, or perhaps set up my own specialist business using a suitable name, such as “Sweeney Todd’s Home Made Black Puddings” or “Sawney Bean’s Black Pudding Emporium” with the tag line “The owner puts more of himself into his product than any other maker”.

However, upon further enquiry from my GP it transpires they are not allowed to give me the blood to take away with me, even though it was mine to begin with. Apparently once it has left my body it is categorised as bio-hazardous waste and has to be disposed of accordingly. I’m not even allowed to put it in the compost bin.

Still it’s probably just as well, as with my condition I should be avoiding such iron-rich foods anyway.


*Sam, if you’re reading this, here’s a nostalgic link just for you http://www.charlesmacleod.co.uk
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19 comments

Carole said...

Okay, you have stepped over the line from genius to creepy. Next you will be advertising for your own personal vampire.

Tom P. said...

My wife is an RN so I am going to have to show her this entry! Hysterical! Genius! But don't expect me to buy any of your pudding. :(

And a vampire would solve your problem. I understand their bite is painless.

Eryl Shields said...

It would seem rather counter intuitive to go through the pain of having your blood removed only to eat it in a sausage.

Jessie said...

I couldn't get past the first couple of paragraphs...the combination of the words such as blood, needles and suction and the descriptions thereof was enough for me....yes I've had 4 kids and I can't take "medical" talk :o)

I'm sure it was an insightful post.

PI said...

As you say- what a waste and it can't even be stored in case - heaven forfend, you should need a transfusion. I'm really sorry you have to put up with such regular discomfort and I hope you have some sort of treat on those days. Poor boy!

Sarah said...

Joshua has Haemochromatosis, if he doesn't donate, he starts getting lethargic. he goes in every month. luckily the blood bank accepts it, if not somewhat greedily. he finally had to insist that they stop calling him, if he didn't make it in on the dot every month.


some people.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - perhaps one of those female vampires with the long hair, red lips, deep eyes...

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sorry, what was the question?

Tom - :)

Eryl - well, in these days of credit crunch and rising food prices, sometimes needs must, as they say...

Jessie - aw, you missed the best bit! Go back and start reading from "What a waste" just over half way down.

Pat - I bet you were good with your patients - just the right amount of no nonsense and sympathy

Sarah - do you get paid for blood in the US? I'm sure iron-rich ought to be worth more

savannah said...

shock & awe, sugar...shock & awe!

and yes, you get paid in the states for blood...or you can just donate for free...it's all about options here! ;)

(move to new orleans, babe, you'd have lots of takers)

MaLady said...

Are you feeling a bit better now that they're bleeding you for your health? Have you considered leeches? You could raise medical leeches. Ick.

Oh hey, I get another go at trying to be manly, too. I bought a huge dorm-style double loft bed for my boys that was designed by some engineering students. They made it first for themselves. It doesn't come with plans or many pictures...and I'll be assembling it myself.

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - hmm... could I earn enough to cover my flight over & back?

MaLady - I wish I could say I've felt the benefit, but not so far. Now I'm just tired AND have a sore arm...

Make sure you take some before and after pics of the huge dorm-style double loft bedand post them on your blog :)

sarah said...

i think that depends on where you donate, the place he donates at does not.

i think there is a plasma donation in town that does.. (i shudder to think)

i have very poor veins for donating, i end up getting stuck tons of times or getting a vein blown up.

Kim Ayres said...

They use dynamite on your veins...?

Conan Drumm said...

Couldn't you just go for a nice lie down outdoors at dawn and dusk and feed all those cute little midges?

Kim Ayres said...

I'm sure it would score me an extra few Karma brownie points

Mary Witzl said...

What a shame that you can't donate it and they won't even let you use it as compost! That sort of waste really frustrates me, but a nurse friend of mine once told me that plenty of the blood collected from donors gets thrown away; I've probably had a lot of mine discarded as bio-waste, if it's any consolation!

Kim Ayres said...

To be honest, Mary, I could probably cope better with it if my arm wasn't still feeling bruised from the last experience several days ago now

Ronnie said...

O.K.,you got me. At least you chose to give blood, we've been sucked dry here for years.

Kim Ayres said...

Hey Ronnie! Thanks for dropping by :)

Ronnie said...

My pleasure Kim, and I hope you and that other yoke are happy now.

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