This post is going to be about my blood donation experience while in Cebu. It was I and my siblings who donated blood for our neighbor who badly needed them at that time. I hope by sharing this, people who are in Cebu, for example, who will also donate blood for the first time will get an idea of what to expect so as not to get too anxious about it.
In a way, this is also to share with others that a blood donation is a generous act of helping people. If you’re physically able to do it, it is always encouraged to donate blood as this will not only be beneficial to the donee but to the donor as well.
If you search online, you’ll find many sites explaining the benefits of donating blood. That is also something I did before, to be honest, I first researched making sure that it wouldn’t have negative effects on my health and well-being. Of course, we are only humans, we are cautious and protective of ourselves, aren’t we?
A Neighbor in Need
The story started with our neighbor who originally was from Negros. She lives across from our house in an apartment with her partner. My mom became very close with them because they are Ilonggos and the discovery of her partner’s similar last name as my mom’s. In some way, there’s a very good chance that they’re actually our relatives.
What happened was, this neighbor fainted while taking a shower. It turned out that she had been having profused bleeding for more than 5 days. Besides that, she was also very pale, weak, and felt very sick. And so, we drove them to the hospital because medically, I have seen patients with the same case at work in the past. Usually the red blood cells and the hemoglobin decrease which is not something we want.
To make the story short, my theory was right. Her hemoglobin was way down. So her doctor prescribed a blood transfusion of at least 3 units of blood. That was how poorly she was.
Because they were not from Cebu and because of the pandemic, they could not find any donors easily. They looked and looked for a few days to no avail. After a few days, my sister with a good heart talked to me and mentioned helping them. And I said, yes. If I am eligible to donate, why not.
A big obstacle for me was my weight. I had always wanted to donate but I didn’t have the 50 kg required weight to do so. However, many years had already passed since I last weighed myself, I thought and hope I would pass the weight requirement this time. In which, I did, at exactly 50 kgs, ha!
The Day of Our Blood Donation
We drove to Cebu City from our town that morning. We headed to the DOH Blood Center in Region VII. The complete address is Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.
Here are some photos of what went through that day.
Because it was during a pandemic, it was mandatory to wear a face mask and face shield. However, as you can see in the picture below, many are not really wearing them properly.
Staff gave us a form to fill out. It has questions about medical conditions, place of residence, and more. Then they took our vital signs.
After the vital signs taking, they weighed us making sure we were at least 50 kgs.
Thereafter, we were told to sit to be interviewed by doctors basing on the information we wrote on the form. Be very careful though. Donating blood in exchange for money is unacceptable, it should be from free will. So they were asking us about our relationship with the patient, our background, jobs, etc.
After the interview, we were then instructed to go to the next table. In here, a medical technologist poked our finger to get a blood sample to verify our blood type. Mine is Type O, the universal donor, as well as my two siblings.
Because it was almost lunchtime by then, they advised us to grab some lunch first and to drink plenty of fluid as much as possible.
When we returned, we chose our own bed to lie down, and they started extracting blood. Although this was my first blood donation experience, I have had numerous experiences of blood extraction for laboratory tests in the past. Also considering that I worked with needles and blood, I wasn’t that scared compared to my siblings.
Each pack is equal to 450 ml. It took around 20-30 minutes until it was done.
After Blood Donation
I don’t know if it was just me or us three but we felt extremely exhausted. Proof of that is a photo of my sister. =) We ate pizza before going back home because we got hungry.Once we arrived home, I went straight to bed and slept until the next day. I was spent but other than that we were feeling fine.
The next day, after crossmatching our blood to our neighbor’s blood and found compatible, her blood transfusion started. She sent us a picture of when it was happening.
It was a great feeling to be of help to other people. My neighbor’s hemoglobin increased dramatically after three transfusions. Her doctor let her go home right after because everything was back to normal for her.
This has been a rewarding experience for me, much memorable because I did it with my siblings. We will surely do it again in the future. Apparently, if you donate blood, you will need to wait for 6 months to be able to donate again.
I hope this post helps. Again, if you can, donate blood guys!