At the blood drive

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Donor's eye view of the Rock River Valley Blood Center's mobile blood drive

This week, the Roscoe VFW is holding a blood drive on Tuesday, Nov. 9 in honor of our veterans. Appointments are still available. You need to weigh at least 110 lbs and to generally feel well on the day of your donation. Several blood drives are scheduled in the Stateline area in the next month - see the map.

At this drive at the VFW, Double Red Blood Cell Collection (DRBC) is available. You can make a regular, single, whole blood donation too, but more than 63% of all needed transfusion units are red cells. During a double red blood cell donation, a machine is used to withdraw whole blood. Red cells are separated and retained, and the remainder of the blood is returned back to the donor. This donation safely removes twice as many red cells than traditional whole blood. They refer to this as a double red blood cell donation, or DRBC for short. To "give double," you must be in good health and have a minimum hemoglobin level of 13.3. Males must be at least 5'1" and weigh at least 130 lbs. Females must be at least 5'5" and weigh at least 155 lbs. (That's not a typo: women have a lower total blood volume (TBV) — even if they weigh the same amount.)

Last month, the editor of Rockton-Roscoe News participated in the blood drive held regularly at the Bucciferro Family McDonald’s in Rockton and managed to take pictures. Blood donors always get cookies, snacks and drinks, but here I got gift cards for two Value Meals because I registered online. Confession: I don't like needles either, but it was over before I knew it and it could save three lives.

Don't worry, no blood is shown in these photos.

All ready for the next donor. Donors get simple medical checks at no charge, including blood pressure and hemoglobin.
At the entrance to the mobile donation bus. You have to answer some questions ("Have you had Ebola recently?"). Tattoos are only a temporary disqualification. Squeezing the pink ball while you give blood makes it go faster.
Waiting your turn. Are those seatbelts? Well, this is a bus, but you don't wear seatbelts when you give blood, The bus isn't moving.
A comfortable place to give blood, with sweet snacks and juice afterwards.
A RRVBC technician makes sure everything's okay. The process is very safe: they always use new, sterile needles that are discarded after one use.
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