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pmsmom
05-05-2009, 03:48 PM
So the surgeon has ordered 2 units of dd's blood and we went for Donation #1 today.

Dd is petite, not quite 5 feet tall, and ~110 lbs.

After the donation she went to have some cookies and water in the reception area. She felt nauseous and as she was being helped by the assistant to walk over towards the recliners to go back and lay down, said she felt like things were going dark.

Assistant put cold compress on her and we gave her water to drink. She started to feel better and we stayed about an extra 20 min.

After we got home (an hour ride) and got her in the house, she said she had been feeling queasy on the way home. I had to prop her up against a table then dh helped her sit down in a chair. Thank goodness we were right next to the bathroom b/c then she went into the bathroom and vomited.

Neither hubby nor I can donate for her b/c he is A+ and I am O+. Dd has both recessive genes and is A-.

And the surgeon wants a 2nd unit next week. :(

pmsmom
05-05-2009, 06:02 PM
And here it is dinnertime (about 8 hours after the draw)and dd ate a burger from Hardee's (not a small one) and said she felt lightheaded.

Btw, she did eat a roast beef and cheese sand around 1:30 and has been drinking water and also some gatorade all afternoon.

Is this going to get any better? I cannot imagine doing this again next week.

How strong will she be for surgery? And how will she handle that if she can't even stand losing 1 pint of blood? :(

Susie*Bee
05-05-2009, 06:43 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about this trouble for your dd. I think if I were you, I'd contact her doctor and explain how it's going and see if he will consider using blood bank blood instead.

When I was doing my blood donations, they suggested eating something with some sustenance (like a hearty sandwich) no more than an hour before donating-- and also drinking liquids both before and after. I know there have been some threads about blood donations, but I think mostly on how to keep your iron levels up and stuff. Hugs to you both! This must be so difficult for lm (loving mom) as well as dd. I'm praying for you.

pmsmom
05-05-2009, 07:08 PM
I do plan on emailing the doctor tomorrow.

I agree--it is more important now than ever that she be in the best shape possible before the surgery.

Surgery is now 4 weeks away. I hope her reserves are built back up prior to that time.

Thanks, Susie.

Snoopy
05-06-2009, 07:13 AM
I agree--it is more important now than ever that she be in the best shape possible before the surgery. Thanks, Susie.

Susie,

I totally agree. Right now and immediately after surgery, is the time to make sure your daughter and your family stay healthy. Stress can wear down your resistance to colds/flu. The weeks before surgery are very stressful and blood donation is not something you should be stressing over. My daugther's doctor requested 4 units of blood and she was only able to give 2. Things worked out just fine. Talk to your doctor. I'm sure he'll understand your concerns.

Remember to take care of yourself as well as your daughter.

Mary Lou

Singer
05-06-2009, 07:31 AM
I'm about the same size as your daughter and since I weigh less than 110 they didn't take a whole pint -- maybe two/thirds of a pint. Even so, I felt completely wiped out for 3 or 4 days afterwards. I donated once more, than gave up. Banked blood is perfectly safe these days and to me it just doesn;t make sense to go into this big surgery depleted in any way.

pmsmom
05-06-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks Mary Lou and Singer.

Wow, Mary Lou! 4 Units! And I thought dd was asked to donate a lot.

Still waiting for the surgeon's reply, though, as he was out of the office today.

The surgeon does use a cell saver buts want the blood on hand in case he needs it for transfusing. I'm thinking she will need it, but I'm not sure how much.

A big consideration, too, is the availability of her type of blood at the blood bank. It's A negative--I don't know if that's rare or not. As I said, my poor baby got all the recessive genes in the family as dh is A+ and I'm O+. No one else in the immediate or extended family would be able to be a donor. :(

Also since my daughter has all of these allergies to medications, now I'm wondering if she'd be allergic to donated blood as well. I have no real doubt as to its safety, but man, can one be allergic to someone else's blood even if it's the same type? :eek:

pmsmom
05-06-2009, 04:10 PM
I'm about the same size as your daughter and since I weigh less than 110 they didn't take a whole pint -- maybe two/thirds of a pint. Even so, I felt completely wiped out for 3 or 4 days afterwards. I donated once more, than gave up. Banked blood is perfectly safe these days and to me it just doesn;t make sense to go into this big surgery depleted in any way.

*Ages* ago when I was dd's size, I donated just to donate. They did not take a full pint. I don't remember being ill afterwards, but I know they didn't even want to take it from me in the first place as I was barely over 100 lbs. at the time.

That was in a galaxy far, far away! :D

Jennybear
05-06-2009, 09:56 PM
that is sad about your experience with dd but i had the same one thefirst time i gave blood for the surgery 2 dont worry to much though because the second time got better for me luckily. after my surgery i had 2 other ″faint kind ofspells i suggest carrying some sugar type snacks with u the first few months after just in case. like idid it was reasuring

txmarinemom
05-07-2009, 12:56 AM
Marian, here's what I posted long, long ago about donating blood - and boosting hemoglobin. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I can't find it.

(it was between Shell, Susie*Bee, Sally and I)

And worst case, refuse a 2nd donation if you think she can't handle it. You have that right.

I've donated regularly my entire life (even pre-op, when I was 5'2" - and 102 lbs.), but some people -and some can't. I only banked one autologous pint ... if I need more, I was cool with banked blood. I only took my autologous pint because I couldn't stand the thought of it being tossed!

Regards,
Pam

__________________________________________________ ___________


About that spinach, make sure you cook it because the iron isn't as absorbable in the raw form even though it probably tastes better raw for most people.

Yeah ... I was thinking lightly sauteed in a splash of olive oil with fresh garlic ... mmmm ;-). It's also easy to chop and work into meatballs, meatloaf, soups, casseroles and pasta - but wait until you see what I read earlier about spinach ...

And, man ... blackstrap molasses. Ugh! I think I must have deliberately erased all memory of that foul stuff until it was mentioned here. Even just the *odor* (it's just like sulphur) makes me sick: I haven't even smelled it in years, yet can vividly recall it. My Dad LOVED it (especially on biscuits with ham), and it was all I could do to stay at the table when he opened the can. I can barely even handle the smell of regular molasses when it's called for in a recipe ...

I did a quick Google because I knew there were tons of iron-rich foods I didn't remember from when I was pregnant (AGES ago ... the pre-natal vitamins with iron made me nauseated so I compensated as best as possible via diet).

Shell, at your age, normal RDA (I'd assume even more when you're already deprived) of iron is 18 mg.

It is NOT recommended to consume > 100 mg of iron per day, and actually, this is difficult (almost impossible) to do without supplements.

The website beefinfo.org contains some helpful data like an RDA chart (http://www.box.net/shared/static/bc6063w0oo.JPG) for all ages - male and female, and it also claims vegetarians should multiply their intake by a factor of 1.8.

It goes into detail about the 2 types of iron (heme and non-heme):

HEME IRON:
is more readily absorbed by the body (approximately 23% of the iron consumed is absorbed)
absorption is not changed by other foods
found only in meat, fish and poultry
important sources of heme iron: beef, organ meats (liver, kidney, heart) lamb, pork, veal, turkey, chicken, fish and seafood


NON-HEME IRON:
is not absorbed as well as heme iron (only 3-8% of the iron consumed is absorbed)
absorption can be increased or decreased by other foods
found in vegetables, fruit, grains and eggs
important sources of non-heme iron: dried fruits (raisins, apricots), whole grain cereals, enriched cereals and pasta, dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, kale), legumes (lentils, dried peas or beans)


... and here's what it has to say about compared absorption rates:


"Only some iron in food is absorbed well by the body. Heme iron, found in meat, poultry, and fish is much better absorbed than the non-heme iron found in plants foods and eggs.

For example, your body absorbs four times as much iron from a 90 gram serving of beef sirloin steak (cooked) than from a 175 mL (3/4 cup) serving of bran flakes."

While most charts list overall iron content per serving of foods, what *really* matters is how much is absorbable. The linked chart (http://www.box.net/shared/static/ghtpane4ok.JPG), gives an example of iron content vs. iron absorption: For instance, on various sites, a baked potato (with skin) might be listed with an iron content of anywhere from 2.8 - 4.0 mg, but only =>0.3 mg of that is actually absorbed! BIG difference.

They have tips and a bit of information on "iron inhibitors", as well. I found it interesting that while spinach is considered a good source of iron, this information was also on the page:


"Some components in tea and coffee can limit the amount of iron your body can absorb from foods with non-heme iron. To a lesser extent, oxolates in spinach or phytates in whole grains can also limit the amount of iron your body can absorb."

The New Zealand Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau website (http://www.beeflambnz.co.nz/nutrition/nutrition-iron.html) provides some good information on iron intake, and more on ways to increase absorption:


What to do to avoid iron deficiency and have a healthy diet.
Eat lean beef and lamb at least 3 to 4 times per week as an excellent source of iron. As a guide, a portion of meat should be about the size of the palm of your hand (not including fingers!).
Eat meat, poultry or fish (haem iron foods) with vegetables, breads, pasta or grains (non-haem iron foods), as haem iron helps you absorb up to 4 times more iron from non-haem iron foods.
Eat foods rich in vitamin C, eg oranges, kiwifruit and tomato, to help boost iron absorption from non-meat foods.
Alternatively, drink fruit juice with your meal, which is also high in vitamin C.
Avoid drinking tea or coffee with meals as they reduce iron absorption.

Interestingly enough, several sites suggest it's possible to increase the iron content of food by cooking with iron cookware (i.e., cast iron).

Also of note is what the Colorado State University Extension - Nutrition Services (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09356.html) has to say about iron absorption in people with low levels:


"Iron absorption is affected by the iron status of the individual, the type of food eaten, vitamin C intake ad other factors in the diet. People with a low reserve of iron will absorb more iron than those with sufficient stores. This is the body's way of trying to maintain adequate levels of iron."

Bloodindex.org has a large list of overall iron content (http://www.bloodindex.net/Food.php#iron_rich_food_list) in foods, but remember most lists don't contain accurate absorbable counts.

Be sure to avoid iron inhibitors and do what you can to maximize the dietary iron you consume.

Before you know it, all this pre-op stress will be over and you'll be on the other side of surgery ... recovery!

(Oh, and thanks for the kind words on my pictures ;-).

Regards,
Pam

Snoopy
05-07-2009, 07:20 AM
Wow, Mary Lou! 4 Units! And I thought dd was asked to donate a lot.

The surgeon does use a cell saver buts want the blood on hand in case he needs it for transfusing. I'm thinking she will need it, but I'm not sure how much.

A big consideration, too, is the availability of her type of blood at the blood bank. It's A negative--I don't know if that's rare or not. As I said, my poor baby got all the recessive genes in the family as dh is A+ and I'm O+. No one else in the immediate or extended family would be able to be a donor. :(

Also since my daughter has all of these allergies to medications, now I'm wondering if she'd be allergic to donated blood as well. I have no real doubt as to its safety, but man, can one be allergic to someone else's blood even if it's the same type? :eek:


Yeah, 4 units. I wasn't comfortable with that amount of donation, so I was grateful that she was only able to donate two units. As hard as we tried to keep her iron level up, it just dropped after her donation and kept her from donating more. Jamie too, is very small-4' 10 1/2" and weighs about 95# now and this is 4 years post-op, so you know she weighed less when donating blood. The staff at the blood bank were very good with her. They went very slow and made sure she ate/drank while donating.

For your peace of mind, call the blood bank and your doctor and make sure they are aware of your daughter's blood type and allergies. Remind everyone the day of surgery of the same information. And if they start talking about giving her blood after surgery, talk to them before they bring the blood to her. If you constantly remind them of your concerns that she might be allergic to someone else's blood, they will watch her more closely and will be watching for signs of a reaction.

Hang in there.

Mary Lou

pmsmom
05-07-2009, 07:54 AM
Thanks, Ladies.

I'm a bit calmer today. Paula was fine yesterday--back to her old self but I did have her take it easy and not lift things and such. I was upstairs while she showered in case she felt faint and she was fine.

I also talked to a friend of mine who is a nurse who also gave me more information on blood donation, especially noting that the younger teens seem to regenerate the blood faster than someone older. She said that if she gives on the 12th, there will be about 20 days before her surgery where she can regenerate the blood.

Still waiting to see what doctor will say, but we have a few days to make a decision. Ideally, I would like her to have her own blood if she needed it, and if her iron levels weren't up to par, they wouldn't draw it anyway.

There's also the possibility that they might take less since she's right at the edge of the weight limit.

So we will see what the surgeon says today.

Don't know where I'd be without you all for support! Thanks!

Beckymk
05-07-2009, 01:29 PM
You might be OK with just the one unit.

I know they wanted 2 units for Carolyn but then the doctor that deals with blood donations would NOT give her a prescription for donation since she did not weigh 100 pounds. I was under the impression the 100 pound rule would be waived if you were donating for yourself but this doctor wouldn't do it.

In the end, it was a blessing in disguise for us because she would have had MAJOR issues...we have decided even if she wanted to, giving blood is not in Carolyn's future (unless it's life or death!). We *barely* got enough blood out her for her pre-op blood work just a couple vials.

They used the cell saver and Carolyn ended up only needing 1 unit from the blood bank. Her blood pressure kept being too low, so they did end up having to do the transfusion the night of her surgery (I wasn't there when it happened, I had already left for the night but I knew it was a fairly big possibility when I left). I also know Carolyn told me at one point they went to get a blood sample, couldn't get one and said "we will do that later" but she doesn't remember them coming back and getting one later.

pmsmom
05-07-2009, 08:17 PM
Thanks, Becky.

How is Carolyn doing now?

We did hear back from the surgeon and he said just to skip the second donation and they would have the blood bank available for her surgery.

So I suppose there will be A- blood available.

They will have the one unit if they need it and then just have to supplement with the rest.

I think I had forgotten to say that her vitals the morning of were:

temp. 97 degrees
bp 100/66
pulse 66
hemoglobin (I guess that's what they check) 12.7

I had written down everything that happened that day and sent all of that to the NP who forwarded it to the surgeon.

pmsmom
05-07-2009, 08:18 PM
Becky,

Can you refresh my memory as to what Carolyn's issues were?

Beckymk
05-08-2009, 07:50 AM
Becky,

Can you refresh my memory as to what Carolyn's issues were?

Carolyn is doing fantastic right now. You would never know she had major surgery only 2 months ago.

I'm not 100% sure what the problem is with Carolyn's blood but it doesn't flow very easily. LOL! I always knew her fingers tend to be cold & I used to joke that she had no blood circulation to her fingers...now I'm thinking that is more accurate! Plus, she clots super fast. I know in the past at our regular doctor office they barely got any blood with just a finger prick but we didn't think much of it.

Then when she went to give the blood work for her pre-op -- they couldn't get it flowing enough to get her a vial full much less 2 or 3. She had to make arm circles, they put a warm compress on it it, put her arm down to use gravity and basically the lab tech was using EVERY technique in the book to try to just get the blood going enough to get it flowing enough to fill the vials. She did eventually get all the vials she needed but it was WORK. It was a production and it watching that, I was SO glad that it worked out we couldn't donate. I really don't think she would have physically been able to do it.

Carolyn has never been diagnoised with anything for this and I know you always hear about people who have the problem of not clotting but I never thought the opposite could be a problem.

Also, after this Carolyn herself said "now I know I physically can't donate blood even if I were the right weight". I'm sure if it they absolutely HAD to get her blood for whatever reason, they would figure out a way but giving blood won't be something she voluntarily does due to knowing how difficult it is.

pmsmom
05-08-2009, 09:37 AM
Wow--you're right--this was a blessing in disguise to find this out prior to surgery!

I'm so happy for you that she is doing so well--I hope Paula does as well.

I had asked her GP to do some kind of clotting test and he did order one (prothrombin time--I think) b/c of what I had read on the forums. That won't be done for another week or so with some other tests as some of those tests they want done within 2 weeks of the surgery.

Her GP has been great with all of this! I've asked him for an EKG and he did it. Pretty much any test I've asked for, he's done.

Her allergist is stepping up to the plate, too, and has been very good. He will be doing a lung function test on 5/20 (he does that every time he has an exam with her). He also has forwarded her medical allergies to the surgeon's office.

So I just have to trust that these folks will all do their jobs. They're good about keeping me in the loop (as it should be), but I find I have to really pay attention to the correspondence. At one point a test was left out of one piece of correspondence, but when I contacted the GP's office, they corrected the order.

Thanks again, guys! :)

mbrehm
06-19-2009, 07:30 PM
Hi all,
My son is having his surgery 0n the 23rd and has donated 2 units of blood a week apart. His blood is thick too and flows very slow which they think is great. Today we found out that they also plan to recover the blood he loses during surgery, filter it and return him his red blood cells during the surgery. They also said he should continue with the iron and a high protien diet for several weeks after he comes home. he probably womnt even need the blood he donated. all the best to everyone !

Jazzy'smom
06-20-2009, 01:32 AM
When we use to give blood at work my one friend was question if she was 115 lbs becase she was only 5 feet tall. She told them she was 120. They said they don't allow anyone under 115 to donate blood. I guess it is different depending on where you live.

Snoopy
06-20-2009, 08:48 AM
When we use to give blood at work my one friend was question if she was 115 lbs becase she was only 5 feet tall. She told them she was 120. They said they don't allow anyone under 115 to donate blood. I guess it is different depending on where you live.


Most places won't allow you to donate unless you are 115 pounds. However, when donating blood for your own surgery, the rules are very different. My 17 y.o. can't donate blood at a blood drive because she is less than 100 pounds, yet she donated two units for her surgery over 4 years ago when she weighed maybe 85-90 pounds.

Mary Lou

LynnMarie74
06-20-2009, 03:14 PM
Although A- blood is not as "popular" than some others, you are right...there should be plenty for your daughter. I am A- also and donted 2 units of my own pre surgery.(I am bigger than your daughter at about 130/5 '5-sh at the time) During surgery, I lost 4 units & obviously needed more than my own 2. A few hours after surgery, in recovery, I required another unit, and the day after, I still needed one more. So 6 total. I think we just assume its "better" to use our own for some reason...as that was my train of thought. I then realized, A- blood is A- blood & the way the donors are screened & so on, I knew I was safe. Good luck with everything!!! :)


Lynn