This past Thursday I did something that has been in the back of my head since the day I turned 18. However, having lived abroad for a few years and the uncertainty about staying in Sweden my donation of blood has been put off until now. Strolled up with a good friend to Akademiska in Uppsala and entrance 62 where the “blood central” is located. We were greeted by a very friendly nurse and handed information as well as a health declaration to fill in. This included a set of “yes” and “no” questions regarding medical history, stays abroad etc. and then sat down to wait for our turn while the information was registered as there were quite a few people present (but there could be more).
Once called, yet another friendly nurse took me in to a room where she asked questions about why I wanted to give blood, the process and finally confirm the details I had submitted on the form. This was followed by the measuring of my blood pressure and the taking of a blood sample to determine blood type, and confirm that I am free from jaundice, syphilis, HIV or HTLV. This whole process lasted about 30 minutes and as with every subsequent visit it is concluded with something to drink and a sandwich.
So why am I doing this? I find it to be an easy way of contributing to the health care system we have and keeping in mind that I might be in need of blood again at a later stage in life. It is also a way of saying thank you to two successful surgeries had as a child. Finally, I asked myself the question “why not?” and could not come up with a satisfactory answer so……..
I know there are quite a few aviators reading this blog and if I am not completely off the hook JAR FCL-3 has nothing stated about this. However, the chief medic of the Swedish CAA does recommend 48 hours between donating and flying. For more information (in Swedish) see: http://www.geblod.nu