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Sunday July 4, 2021
I wanted to be the first person to donate blood plasma at the new Donor Centre in Orchard Park.
Over the 12 years that my wife Joan had leukemia, she received a plasma transfusion every month. She had no immune system left. So she needed what they called intravenous-immunoglobulin, IV-IG for short. It comes from blood plasma.
Plasma is the clear fluid left after a centrifuge filters out all the solid stuff circulating in your blood stream – red cells, white cells, platelets, etc.
In Joan’s case, she needed the antibodies that she couldn’t produce for herself. It can take 1,000 plasma donations to get the right mix of antibodies for particular needs.
Twelve years, at 12 transfusions a year, times 1,000 donors, meant that I owed a debt of gratitude to around 144,000 people for keeping my wife alive.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Canadian Blood services, plasma, blood donations
My wife would probably be dead by now, if it weren’t for blood donors.
I can’t prove that assertion, of course. It’s almost impossible to prove that something didn’t happen, that could have happened. Safety regulations can argue that traffic controls reduce the total number of accidents; they can never claim that they prevented a specific driver from having an accident.
But consider the facts.
Ten years ago, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, to be precise. In those ten years, she’s had seven different chemotherapies. Six have failed; her white cell counts came down, for a while, but they wouldn’t stay down.
Here’s a vastly oversimplified explanation of a very complicated process....
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: blood donors, leukemia, immuno-globulin, plasma