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Step 1 The Greeter

October 13, 2000

5 Steps to giving blood

Step 1. Meet the Greeter

Your name and telephone number will be taken and you will be asked if you have ever donated blood. First-timers will be given a sticker designating them as such. You will be asked if you're feeling well and will read a list of symptoms and situations that would make you ineligible to give blood that day.

Step 2. The registration

You will fill out a form that seeks basic information about you and includes questions about your medical history.

Step 3. Medical history

A nurse will discuss your medical history with you. Your blood pressure will be taken and your finger will be pricked so the nurse can test your blood for anemia. The blood sample will be dropped into a glass container containing copper sulfate. If the blood sinks, you have enough red blood cells and iron in your blood to donate. If it does not, your blood sample will be dropped into a centrifuge that spins the red cells down to determine more accurately if you have enough to donate. If it is determined that you don't have enough red blood cells and iron in your blood, you will not be able to be a donor that day.


Step 4. Blood Donation

You will lie on your back, and a needle will be inserted in a vein in one of your arms. Less than a pint of blood will be drawn. In addition to going into the bag, some of your blood goes into tubes on the bag that will be sent to Johnstown, Pa., Philadelphia or California for testing. Blood is tested for its type and Rh factor - whether it's positive or negative. It's also tested for hepatitis; raised levels of some liver enzymes that could indicate that a person has hepatitis; HIV (human immunodeficiency virus); and syphilis. The presence of hepatitis, HIV or syphilis makes your donation unusable.

Step 5. Canteen

Volunteer Bettie Hull, second from left, entertains donors at the canteen after they've given blood at the Boonsboro American Legion. Donors are, clockwise from left, Wayne Lowery and Debbie Ashbaugh of Boonsboro and Ellen Dellinger of Saint James Village.

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