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20/09/2008, 11:02 PM
am in a very furious and frustrated mood and thought I would try to do something about it rather than just feel depressed about it. I need help on ideas to get Australians to donate plasma (http://www.donateblood.com.au/page.aspx?IDDataTreeMenu=86&parent=30&parent1=83). Why am I so passionate about this? Well last year I underwent a stem cell transplant to save my life from a cancer relapse. It completely wipes out your immune system however it is supposed to slowly come back in time. Unfortunately mine has not shown any signs of restablishing itself.Every 4 weeks I get given (and will be given for the rest of my life) a blood transfusion of something called immunoglobulin. This is a special part of the plasma that is in simple terms an immune system because every little bug or infection that I get (two kids in childcare bring home lots of bugs) are potentially life threatening for me as my body cannot fight them. I recently questioned my specialist why I am fine for the first 10 days after the transfusion and then I constantly land in hospital on heavy duty antibiotics until my next transfusion. He said that ideally I would be given double the dose I get given and would be given this dose every fortnight however as the plasma supply in Australia is so low Red Cross have to get it from os and it is extremely expensive so basically it is rationed to the dose I have. It scares me to death (quite literally) as I know that one of the biggest fatality risks post stem cell transplant is getting an infection that cannot be controlled. I already have a string of health issues caused by the transplant including heart damage and it makes me so mad that the constant infections and bugs landing me in hospital are preventable. I hate being in hospital - I miss my kids terribly. DS (4) asked me the other day if I will ever get better and why his mummy is the only mummy that has always been sick. Whilst undergoing my transplant I needed daily transfusions of various types and often remember waiting until late in the evening to have a platelet transfusion whilst bleeding out of every orraface and bleeding severely with each injection I received all because the platelet supply from the red cross was too low. My kids had to be so gentle with me so that I did not bruise from them cuddling me too hard. I can accept my cancer as it was not preventable but this current suffering is preventable if I could just get people to donate blood (esp plasma).
Any ideas on getting Australians to donate more blood, especially plasma would be great. One idea I had was to forward an email to everyone I know encouraging people to give blood. If you would like to receive this email please let me know and I can send it to you. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Ok, educate me, what is plasma and how is it different to just blood?
20/09/2008, 11:12 PM
From the Red Cross site -
Most people think donated blood is only used to help people who suffer traumatic incidents, such as accidents or burns, or in surgery. But, in fact, the vast majority of donated blood goes to people with cancer.
Other blood components including plasma and platelets are also vital. Plasma is used in bleeding patients, for children and adults with immune disorders, and to
prevent some complications of pregnancy. Platelets are used to manage bleeding in surgical patients and cancer, including leukaemia.
When you consider that blood components have a shelf life; up to five days for platelets, 42 days for red cells and up to one year for plasma - its easy to understand why the need for blood is constant.
20/09/2008, 11:17 PM
I will PM you my email addy, you can send it to me and i will send it to everyone in my address book.
I hope you are feeling a little brighter tomorrow
21/09/2008, 12:15 AM
Hi, I would love to help but unfortunately they won't take my blood at all(I've tried numerous times as needles don't bother me so I thought I'd be the perfect candidate) as I am anaemic and have crohn's disease.
I am happy to pass on the info to everyone I know though and hope that more people donate as a result. Hope things get much better for you soon.
21/09/2008, 12:32 AM
Could you write to a newspaper or magazine and ask them to do a story? Maybe ask the health writer? Sometimes putting a face to a problem or issue helps people to act.
I would give blood if I could but I am not allowed to due to living in the UK at the wrong time. My dad has haemochromotosis which means that he has too much iron in his blood and has to have blood drawn every fortnight. Ordinarily they would use it for blood products such as plasma but they can't due to risk of Mad Cow disease.
21/09/2008, 06:04 AM
The newspaper idea sounds great - thanks. I already have a few contacts as a couple of places did an article on me when I started up a charity to help mums with cancer. I am so upset over this my brain really can't think straight!
The UK thing upsets me as so many of my friends and family are more than willing to donate but because of living in the UK during mad cow disease they can't. My boyfriend who is English, pointed out to me that there were about 11 people who died from mad cow and yet how many people living in Australia today are willing to donate blood yet can't because of mad cow. That blood could actually save people's lives - maybe this is an outdated rule that needs to be reviewed!!
21/09/2008, 06:18 AM
21/09/2008, 06:22 AM
I feel for you.
If you PM me I have a contact at the Herald Sun who is the medical reporter, he recently did some articles on my son and the current crisis at the RCH.
I donate blood on a regular basis, I cant at the moment due to pregnancy but I know how short our supply is in Australia
21/09/2008, 06:22 AM
Yeah, they won't take my blood either as while I'm a healthy, strapping lady, I chanced to have lived in the UK in '83 for over a yr and now I can't give any blood. I know my blood is perfect but nup!
I'm sure that with the majority
of Australian immigrants from the UK, there are hundreds of thousands who cannot give blood because of the threat of CJD
. It's very unfortunate.
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