Blood donation (Or: Fillin’ up some vials)

Today’s random activity was donating blood at the local public library after work. And dragging a coworker along for good measure. This way she could also donate blood, see the public library for the first time, and get NY Blood Center to stop calling her for at least, oh… 56 days until we’re both eligible again.

NY blood donation button and sticker

The best thing about donating blood is getting to eat guilt-free cookies afterwards. Home baked this time!

I did some searching on Google about the differences between donating blood in the United States and donating blood in the Netherlands. I found this thread which does seem to suggest that donating blood in the Netherlands is a bit more annoying for the individual – though it seems to get better once you are a regular donor.

It seems like you need to register first. Once you are registered, they contact you, and then you come in for an eligibility test. After that, they look at the results and then contact you to come back again to actually donate (I think). On top of that, it doesn’t seem like you can donate as often – in the United States it is every 56 days.

However I tend to only go when places of opportunity crop up, like holding a blood drive at the college I work at or the public library, as in this case. I get the impression that most Dutch blood donation happens with the individual going to to donation center, rather than the donation center workers coming to a place that is more convenient to you.

I also heard that women and men are tested differently. They mentioned that women get tested for their iron levels, but that is the same thing that they do here with a finger prick to draw blood. But women in the Netherlands can’t donate as often as men — at least according to one link that I read.

Anyone else here have experience with donating in the Netherlands?

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