On Tuesday a media blood drive was held at West Ridge Mall in Topeka and was a huge success. I was able to stop by after my morning shift and donate. While I was in line the lady asked me if I wanted to do the double red blood cell machine. Of course I agreed. The normal way to give blood is to donate a pint of whole blood. The way it was explained to me is when they give someone a blood transfusion they only give them red blood cells. The white blood cells (or Plasma) is used for other purposes. So the major demand is for red blood cells. The special machine they have takes your blood and separates the red blood cells from the white blood cells, they keep the red cells and give you back your white ones. This allows them to take double the amount of red blood cells. It took a little longer and it was a cool sensation when they pumped the white cells back in. Lindsay Shively was on hand when I was on the machine and she felt the need to take a picture. You can see the bags holding the red and white blood cells (obviously named for their color.
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