What might be useful is if I write about why I donate blood.
Our lives gain much more meaning if we contribute to the societies in which we live. In this world where our shared environment is suffering from things like climate change, ocean acidification and generally increasing pollution we all have a responsibility to make an effort to improve the situation. Activities motivated by selfishness are destroying our only planet, we need more altruism.
Donating blood plasma takes an hour or so of my time once in a while and allows me a little more self-respect because I'm doing someone else a favour, possibly even saving a life (I've been donating, mainly whole blood, for about 50 years, I'm up to 104 donations in March 2020).
One of the other things I've been involved in for the good of the world and of future generations is trying to get action on climate change, including:
Blood donation, as I see it, is another small thing I can do for the world in which I live and in which my grandchildren will have to live the rest of their lives.
The Dalai Lama, a man I greatly admire, often uses the word
'compassion' in his writings and he is right to do so; compassion is one of the great virtues.
Donating blood is a way of showing your compassion for your fellow human beings.
elsewhere about the big choices we have in our lives and why we benefit from being altruistic.
Donating whole bloodGiving whole blood is the simplest. The nurse will put a needle attached to a tube into you arm (you'll feel no more than a small prick) and you wait while a bag fills with the set amount of blood. I've donated whole blood most of my donating life.
Donating plasmaGiving blood plasma is a little more complicated, although the person donating doesn't have to concern himself with the details. The needle and tube is put into the arm, as with donating whole blood. The tube leads to a machine like the one in the photo.
The machine takes some blood, uses a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the remainder, which is then returned to your body via the same tube. This procedure is repeated about four times over a period of perhaps three quarters of an hour, all without the donating person having to concern himself with it. A couple of times during the procedure the machine will top you up with some saline solution, to make up for the volume of plasma taken out.
I've donated plasma for the last three years.
A bonusA bonus in donating blood is that you get a free health check every time you donate. They check your blood pressure, haemoglobin level, and heart beat regularity.
The resultAt the end of a restful half hour (for a whole blood donation) to about an hour (for a plasma donation) the product can be used to help someone in need, perhaps even save someone's life.
The person who has done the donation gets a sticker put over the site of the needle prick and a bandage that should stay on for an hour or so. He/she is advised to have a drink and maybe a small snack (which is provided, another bonus) and rest for ten minutes or so just in case there is a feeling of faintness (after 104 donations I've never had any adverse reaction of any kind).
(I've noticed that party pies are provided at Perth and Bendigo blood banks, but not Adelaide.)
It's a good feeling to know that you have done a stranger a favour; to have made a small act of
altruism in a world that is being destroyed by
(Just as an aside, on the subject of altruism, I've noticed that
opposition to wind power is mostly selfish while opposition to the coal industry is mostly altruistic.)
The end to my donations?After donating:
I have to wonder, was that the only reason they turned me away? Or was I perhaps getting too old? (I was 77 at the time.)
Reducing wasteI have noticed that in the Grenfell blood centre, Adelaide, South Australia, throw-away cups are provided for donors, in the Perth city centre, Western Australia and the Bendigo, Victoria, centre, reusable cups are provided with instructions to place them in the dishwasher after use.
The latter system is much to be preferred, so that the amount of rubbish going to landfill is minimised.
On this site...Ashamed to be Australian?; do something about it.
Contribution to society
Euthanasia, some thoughts
Responsible Mid-North, reducing waste
Science denial and climate change
Self or all?, selfishness or altruism?
To oppose wind power is to support fossil fuels, including especially, coal, a compassionate person would not do it.
Walking for climate change awareness: cleaning up the roadsides at the same time
Why I support the local wind farm and why any other compassionate person would do the same.
Why would you do that?; The big choices we have in our lives
External sites...Better Health, Victoria, on blood donation.
The Australian Red Cross blood service has a Web page on blood donation.
Why Do Human Beings Do Good Things? The Puzzle of Altruism", by Steve Taylor; he suggested that the answer could be empathy.
On this page...A bonus
The end to my donations?