Did you know that aside from donating whole blood, that you can also donate Plasma? Blood plasma is the liquid part of the blood which carries proteins and cells throughout the body. It’s around half of the volume of the blood we all have and it essential in transporting nutrients throughout the body. Some people have some real trouble generating their own plasma, or need more of it due to treatment and disease. It is a key ingredient for treating traumatic injuries to aid in stemming blood loss.
Blood plasma could be donated on a regular basis, as often as every 2 weeks and is listed in the World Health Organisation’s Model List of Essential Medicines. Even though the shelf life of plasma can be extended to 1 year when frozen, it is a much in-demand resource in a lot of places in the world because it’s used in the treatment of trauma, burn and shock patients, cancer patients, and people with severe liver disease. Some people have blood disorders who have trouble with developing blood clots (usually referred to as Haemophilia).
A lot of children born with these disorders require a regular transfusion of compatible blood plasma to supplement their need for certain “clotting factors” produced by healthy donors throughout their life. It is a very high demand resource which has a direct implication on the lives of people dependent on the kindness of donors who donate regularly. As with whole blood, the blood type compatibility “matrix” applies to Plasma too.
Next time you visit your local blood donation centre wherever you are in the world, ask if they need more Plasma than whole blood and consider giving Plasma more often. While it takes longer to donate plasma than it does whole blood (since it has to be separated from whole blood while being collected) the amount retrieved helps multiple people for a long while.
If you’ve never found out if you’re eligible to donate blood, reach out to your local blood donor centre and take their online questionnaire to pre-screen if you’re eligible. A lot of people are dependent on this life-saving compound for one reason or another, and I’m sure the local blood donor centres will be happy to receive your blood plasma too!
In an ongoing attempt to grow the community of blood donors, we’ve started the Blood Donors Community Sydney meetup.com group to get Sydney-based blood donors together in real life. We’ve opened the membership up, but we’re keeping the group private — so only members get to see when the events are going to be held. The goal of the group is to set up some events where we’ll meet each other, exchange stories, network, and schedule a number of blood donation events.
If you’re keen to join and meet more blood donors in Sydney, please join the group and lets schedule the first event!
What: Blood Donors Community Sydney
Why: Bring together blood donors in Sydney and encourage more people to keep giving!
See you in the first meetup!
Hi, It’s Dean again.
It’s the second day and I realised I wanted to write more about what I’m trying to achieve with RedJeans that’s different from what other people are already doing. Here’s a quick list of things I’m trying to achieve with this effort — which I sincerely hope you’ll join me in!
Because it’s still the early days of the project, there’s a lot of ideas floating around that I am frantically writing down on paper and digital notebooks, thinking about strategies to help the get the word out, and hoping that more people sympathetic to the cause will join me in this journey. I’m in the process of learning about the process of setting up a non-profit organisation in Australia, thinking about ways to bootstrap the operation so that we can get events scheduled in venues, looking for people to work with at the Red Cross here in Australia, and all the fun things I could be doing!
For now, RedJeans is just a website, and I’d really like to make it so much more in the coming days, weeks, months, and years!
If you have experience in these things and would like to be part of the organisation and administrative details, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message to the @redjeansorg account on Twitter. For now it will be me who’ll be responding to these messages, and I’ll appreciate your feedback and support!
I’m diving in head-first into this and documenting the learning process here — and hopefully I’ll have more things to announce soon!
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
It’s Dean and I’m writing to thank you for coming to redjeans.org — this is my passion project which I’ve been incubating for a while and wanted to see through.
This is the first entry in the blog and I wanted to share the genesis for why I’ve decided to go on this journey. A little bit of history is in order.
I was born in the Philippines and was lucky enough to be born at a fairly sophisticated hospital in a large metropolitan city: Manila. My mom, in the process of giving birth to me, had haemorrhaged and needed a significant amount of blood transfused to survive the ordeal. Needless to say, this journey is personal for me.
I named the site Red Jeans because my mom’s name is Jean and I owe a great debt of gratitude to the anonymous blood donors, without whom my mother could have perished, that fateful day decades ago. I could have lost my mom then and 30+ years in I’m inspired to do something to encourage more people to donate blood regularly.
The vision I have in my head when I get the chance to donate blood myself is that someday soon the blood might help another mother giving birth and give them a chance to be around to raise their child. I think about what that mother might still be able to do and the life the child will have with that mother. I wish they have the same chances my mom and I did throughout my wonderful life.
This effort is very near and dear to my heart and I’m sure you know someone or you yourself might have needed blood transfusions.
The sad reality is that there’s usually not enough blood available to fill the demand throughout the world. I want to be part of the solution here and I’m devoting time and some resources to kick this project off.
Now I come to the part where I ask for your help.
If you would like to contribute, please do so in the following ways:
In the next few days I’ll continue to add content and get more of the organisational bits going. In the meantime please follow @readjeansorg on Twitter to stay up to date with the efforts.
Thank you for reading!
— Dean Berris, redjeans.org founder.