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wordmonkey
05-28-2007, 06:05 PM
I have a character who wants to cover every way to keep herself healthy. She's decided she wants to keep a stockpile of her own blood. She's gonna pay someone to draw the blood.

How quickly could she do this?

How much is safe to draw in one session?

How quickly could you go again? Based on normal living AND taking care of herself with lots of juice and an extra cookie after drawing the blood.

And what about storage? Could she freeze it? Refridgerate it? How long would it last without going bad? (As a point of reference, she feels that she may need it WITHIN the span of the novel, so I don't need to keep it indefinitely.)

Please and thank-you.

Storyteller5
05-28-2007, 06:15 PM
I would think that you could use the guidelines for blood donation. They probably use the safest standards. In Canada, Canadian Blood Services takes care of blood donations: a donor is eligible to donate a pint every 56 days. Most people have 8 pints of blood. Red blood cells take a few weeks to replace. If you try to rush taking blood sooner, the body will have weak red cells and that's not optimal. How long it takes really varies by person; I've been to donation clinics where one person takes only 5 minutes to fill the pint bag and the next person takes 15 minutes. You have some leeway there.

I'm not sure how long blood can be stored. I do believe it has to be refrigerated and can't be frozen. :)

jclarkdawe
05-28-2007, 06:29 PM
There's a Seinfield episode where Kramer decides to maintain a supply of his blood. Probably not terribly accurate, but you might want to watch it.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-29-2007, 01:09 AM
How quickly could she do this?
How much is safe to draw in one session?

450ml is the standard "unit" (appx one pint). One per session.


How quickly could you go again? Based on normal living AND taking care of herself with lots of juice and an extra cookie after drawing the blood.

6-8 weeks. And that's if she has really good recovery. She could take up to 12 weeks to recover her hemoglobin levels.


And what about storage? Could she freeze it? Refridgerate it? How long would it last without going bad?

Properly collected and stored whole blood will has a shelf life of 42 days ... barely enough to get her two units on the shelf at all times. That's not enough to get her through any serious trauma. The initial crossmatch quantity for a gunshot wound is 6 units, and I remember some that used 15-20 units before they were declared dead or they patched the holes.

Properly prepared, frozen at 4C, the RBC lasts for 10 years. BUT!!!! She has to thaw it before using it, and thawed RBC are only good for 72 hours and they don't have the clotting factors or proteins of whole blood.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/blood/transfusion/logo.htm#preop covers using your own blood for transfusions.

********
Summary: not a practical idea.

Monkey
05-29-2007, 02:04 AM
If your MC is a very small person, she won't be able to draw much blood from herself without doing damage. I am 5'1 and generally weigh from 95-110 pounds, and I have never been allowed to donate blood, despite really wanting to. They say it isn't safe for someone of my size. My guess is that the more meat on her bones and the higher her general constitution, the more blood she'll be able to draw. My ex made a living for a short while by donating plasma! So there are pretty big differences in what a person's body can handle as far as blood donations go.

wordmonkey
05-29-2007, 02:50 AM
Thanks all.

OK, that kills that idea.

Fortunately I had a back-up plan.