Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Giving blood

You walk into the center, and take 5 minutes to fill in a form. They prick your finger to draw a drop of blood to see whether it will coagulate properly. Then they stick a needle (about 1 mm in diameter) into your vein. They will give you an anaesthetic if you wish, but it is rarely necessary (I never used it). Seven minutes later and 450 c.c. smaller, you are done. You rest for 5 minutes, have a coffee, and you can be gone. It is over in 30 minutes if there is no line.

There are several such centers in Hong Kong but this center in Central is the best place to go. There is rarely a line, and today there were only 2 other people giving blood while I was there. The slowness of business is, of course, not a good sign, even though it is good for me as a donor.

The price you pay is very small. You drink a lot of fluid and will recover in no time. There is very little risk, but it is very rewarding. Just imagine yourself lying in a hospital and needing blood, then someone gives you hers. Wouldn't you be grateful? I have given 40+ times in 3 countries and have never suffered any ill effects. Highly recommended.

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