Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Blood Donors: not quite Transylvania

Count Dracula’s original vision for the UK National Blood Transfusion Service was simple — Donors just went to sleep by an open window and the Count or one of his associates (ably assisted by fair henchwomen mounted on castors) took it from there.
Yesterday this vision came one step closer to fulfilment at Prestwood, as Lucy and I got through in about 20 minutes with no queueing, thanks to a new preappointment system that works, er... really well.

Also, although the set up is still rather more makeshift and basic than the Count’s original conception, he is now serving orange carrot cake muffins in place of his traditional plain digestives. I knew the rot had set in ten years ago, when he introduced custard creams.

Long blood donor queues haven’t been entirely without interest
. Like fly fishing, you could wait all day for someone to fill up with embarrassment and flee before the rather intrusive questions on the card (“have you had a prostitute recently?” “have you ever had unprotected gay sex?” etc.) The Count has to be rather direct about such matters. We are, however, one step closer to his original plan’s elegant simplicity, even if the British aren’t quite ready yet for the ultimate donor-friendly experience:


Anonymous said...

I just donated, too. The questions are a considerable test of your sang froid, especially if you have to answer them with your children in the room!

One of our stipulations may give you some problems though: here, you may donate blood if you

"have not lived in the UK, France or the Republic of Ireland for a total of six months or more between 1980 and 1996 - unfortunately you will be permanently deferred from donating blood in New Zealand if you have lived in these countries for this time."

Sorry, Bishop, you have risky blood anyway - so you might as well go the whole hog with those dangerous practices before your next donation!


Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Aaaargh! Looking at the dates and places, I think this is probably about CJD (Mad Cow disease). So we are all doomed on this island — all of us over 12, anyway. We had a major performnce for a while about Lucy having lived in Egypt for a year when she was a little girl — Malarial area etc. I think now they have developed a screening test for the blood after they've taken it. Ditto, they put yesterday's donation down for an extra malaria screen because of our visit to India last year. Funny old world.

Anonymous said...

huh - must be more upmarket in your area. We were there for 2 hours (which did mean that I had time to enjoy some GKChesterton) and the only biscuits they had on offer were really boring, though they did find my daughter some bourbons when she had the nerve to ask! Obviously they didnt' mind her having been in Antigua........

Anonymous said...

how do u find out what blood type you have?


Bishop Alan Wilson said...

I think the blood type is on my donor card, but not sure where that is. A few years ago the Count gave me a colour coded plastic band with my blood type printed on it, that I keep on my car keys in case of accident... You can certainly ask at any session and the Count's henchpeople will tell you off the donation record system.

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