Have You Ever Given a “Power Red” Blood Donation?

I’ve made an annual tradition out of donating blood in honor of my late father in his birthday month of November. This year, today was the day to participate in a Red Cross blood drive at my climbing gym.

But today was a little different than usual, as I gave a “power red” donation for the first time. I’d never heard of this until I signed up. It’s limited to high-demand blood types (I’m O-positive), and it involves donated twice as many red blood cells as normal.

The trick to doubling the donation is that unlike normal blood donations, you’re strapped to a machine that puts your plasma back into your body along with a saline solution. This happened twice during the donation, and I felt a little cold and tingly. The entire process also took a little longer than normal (45 minutes instead of 20), but I felt fine afterwards–no different than a normal donation.

I’m hard pressed to find a reason not to do a power red donation in the future, as within the same visit I can help up to 6 people in need of blood instead of 3 people. I look forward to doing it in the future to honor my father (and my sweet Biddy boy).

Have you ever tried a power red donation? How was it for you?

2 thoughts on “Have You Ever Given a “Power Red” Blood Donation?”

  1. Jamey,

    As a fellow O+ blood donor, I’m happy to be able to give blood again after nearly 25 years in which I could not, having been stationed in England for four years. Back then, the scare was “Mad Cow Disease” and anyone who had lived in England for any appreciable amount of time was not permitted to give blood. Last Oct, they lifted the restriction, so I’m back!



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