Will & Tracy

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Visit to Dracula’s Lair

Or in our case, just a trip to the Shanghai Blood Bank. In his quest to continue his pursuit to reach the 10 gallon club, Will really wanted to look into donating blood here in China, especially since he has O negative blood which can be used by anyone. Since most Chinese are O positive, the more and more foreigners that take up residence here are kinda out of luck if something really bad happens. To make matters even worse, most Chinese are afraid of giving blood for fear of loosing their “qi” or life energy.

Click the link above to read a great article that explains in more detail why they feel the way they do.

Needless to say in my experience with locals hospitals here in China and past news reports of HIV transmission in Southern China from people donating blood, I was a little reluctant to let him do this. Since of course he can be stubborn sometimes, I said he could do it as long as he brought a translator, Patty and me to give the thumbs up and white glove test on the place.

All I have to say is that we were all pleasantly surprised. Well, okay, not surprised that in massive new building that there was only 1 person ahead of us (the waiting room was empty), The questionnaire/intake was pretty much the same along with their procedure. Some of the big differences included having an option of donating 200ml or 400ml (US standard and only option is to donate 500ml) and they fact that you can only donate every 6 months (versus every 8 weeks in US).

After the intake, Will was led down the hallway and was instructed to do a sort of surgical scrub (shouldn’t the nurse be doing that???) and then was brought to a very familiar lounge chair. After convincing the nurse that changing gloves in between patients really wasn’t going to break the center’s budget – it was a rather pleasant experience. Especially since I wasn’t the one donating.

As valiant as Will is, he still admits that his favorite part about the entire donating process is of course the juice and snack afterwards. In Austin, you get to choose from oreos, chocolate chip cookies and of course, Will’s favorite – nutter butters. The Chinese version: packaged tuna crackers which after one whiff, we can't say we recommend.


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