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July 07 2005

Give Blood, Get a Bloodsucker. Exclusive Spike toy for blood donors at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Ha! I love that idea!
I don't weigh enough to give blood... :( Good thing I hate Spike.
I think this is a great idea.
Aww. And all we get in Houston is some juice and a cookie.

What a wonderful idea, I'm sure there will be tons of people willing to give blood.
The only problem is that hospitals make a FORTUNE off blood, about $200 a pint.
It's a $50 million a year business in the USA alone.

Sorry to be so negative about it but if folks did a little research before they donated they might be a little outraged too. It needs a little light shined on it so regulations are made to clamp down on all the profiteers. Go sell plasma instead, you recover faster and at least they are upfront about how they resell it (and you get a few dollars of your own to buy any doll you'd like).
This might be a little off-topic, but I'm really curious TaraLivesOn - is the blood collected by a hospital? (In Australia, its generally collected by the Red Cross, who even if they were making a profit, I probably wouldn't mind).
Cool, I was already planning on donating blood at the Comic Con, this just makes it cooler.
What I want to know is what's the deal with Spike's goggles?
My place of work conducts blood drives occasionally, and I've also got some personal interest in the matter because of several friends who've survived terrible life-threatening injuries and illness due to the generous donations of countless strangers. It's sensitized me to the importance of giving blood and donating organs, which, sadly, still holds a very low priority for most people (in spite of the fact that every 2 seconds, someone in this country needs blood to live).

All blood collection in the U.S., that I know of, is handled by the Red Cross. Hospitals do use some of that blood for various emergencies, which can be for anything from transfusions in emergency surgeries and organ transplants to elective operations. Some of the rest of it gets processed for other use in other applications. I don't know what hospitals 'make' on the blood they use, but in the great scheme of things, $200 for a pint of the ol' red sounds pretty cheap to me if it saves someone's life. (Which, if you realize that a single person can go through 20-30 pints of blood in a major operation, makes the expense of operations a little more understandable.)

This sounds like a great way to combine fandom with something that benefits the larger community. One blood donation can help save 3 lives -- pretty cool return on your initial investment ;)
That toy is horrible looking. But some of these new ones just make you do double takes in how bad the likeness are.

Giving blood is that crazy of a buisness huh? Wacky world! To bad I don't do needles.
I'm donating blood next week. Best I'll get for my trouble is a plastic cup of weak orange squash and a digestive biscuit.

You know what they should REALLY do? Get James Marsters to hold peoples hands while they donate. THAT would get the blood flowing.
Great idea Bad Kitty - could you imagine the queues? Could we get David to join in? he could mop brows and whisper words of comfort like ' it's only a little prick' ;)

I would donate but I'm in another country and my blood's kind of useless being pumped with all kinds of medication.
The hand holding thing would probably get people to donate, but I imagine the result would be an awful lot of fainting between the hand holding and the blood loss!
Well the Red Cross is also massively wasteful and corrupt in general but I'll try not to get started on that (please Google for true horror stories if you are curious what I mean). My point is, with any donation, be it money or more preciously blood, please do your research first.

Did you know most the people who solicit for blood donations on the phone or at your office for the local blood bank are usually paid a bounty per person? It's far from volunteer, we are the "suckers". The money trail goes on and on. My point is how much of this manipulation is hidden from us.

Do you think there would be a blood shortage anywhere in the USA if they paid college students $25-$50 a donation? They most certainly can afford to do that. The blood banks don't GIVE it to hospitals, they sell it for a PROFIT beyond what it costs to pay their personal and operating costs.

Okay I can't help but rant for a moment on this too (especially with hurricane season here): When it comes to money donations please find any other organization than the Red Cross or United Way as there have been so many scandals and such an insane percentage of your dollars are wasted in their massive overhead.

Years ago it was hard to find out who was trustworthy and had a good payout ratio but these days there is no excuse not to do 10 minutes of research on the internet. Here's another great place (check out that CEO salary).

I'll go be quiet now, rant mode off (sorry!)

stuff to read on this:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1029-05.htm
http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25148
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2001/october/red_tape_at_red_cros.php
http://www.brookings.edu/printme.wbs?page=/comm/reformwatch/rw07.htm


[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2005-07-07 10:44 ]
killinj, I've added tags to your post.

(Tagging instructions)
I appreciate that this is probably not the ideal forum for such things, so I apologise in advance if I am crossing a line here...

I can't comment on blood donations in the USA because I know nothing about system there. It is, presumably, somewhat different over here in Britain where we have a National Health Service, providing, more or less, free health care to the population. Blood is commonly donated via the National Blood Service, an integral part of the NHS.

What I would say is that the many casulaties being treated in hospitals here in London today after the events of this morning, and the staff in those hospitals, will have nothing but gratitude for the people who have donated blood.
Caroline - I added tags to a previous post of mine, so I know how to do it. Must have forgot this time. Plus, I didn't realize it was required.
I understand your concerns TaraLivesOn but most people are only aware of donating blood through Red Cross blood drives and that is the biggest way we get blood in this country. And as Dashboardprophet unfortunately has had to point out there are times where a healthy blood supply is very much needed. My neice a few years ago was having major surgery and it was requested before her surgery if family members could donate blood just in case she needed a transfusion. We went to the hospital and did this and I'm assuming this wasn't through the Red Cross but went specifically into the hospitals blood bank. So I don't know if that could be an option for those who are wary of the Red Cross but people still need to keep in mind that there is a drastic need for blood donations, especially in times such as this when terrorists have yet again attacked and killed many innocent people and many are left injured and in need of blood transfusions.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of London.
I just saw the news about London. I am so appalled I do not know what to say. All of London and the UK have my thoughts and prayers and, unfortunately, tears today and in the coming weeks of recovery.

I have never been able to give blood (anemic) but my brother does regularly because he is a rare blood-type. As he is also very politically aware, I would imagine he has researched this. I have not looked at the links from TLO, but it would be pretty awful if people stopped donating altogether because they were suspicious and did not know how else to do it. It does not take much to get people to stop doing something that they do not really want to do in the first place.
killinj: you're right that the tags box is marked 'optional,' which is something we maybe should change. After all, the utility of the tags increases in proportion to the number of links that are tagged.

TaraLivesOn, you raise many important and provocative points about blood donations. However, it's not clear to me what the alternatives are. Not give blood at all? That doesn't seem right. Give it to more reputable organizations, if such exist? Demanding structural change so that blood banks use college students at cheaper rates seems a laudable plan, but is it best carried out by having individuals simply stop donating through the usual channels? Just thinking aloud.
TLO - thanks for that website. I just went there and what I found was that it's just a great source of information so I can make a more informed decision when I do donate to charities. I didn't get that you didn't want people to donate - you just wanted us all to do some research. Thanks again for the resource.
I wish I was going to San Diego - who all is going?
In Canada, with our (mostly) free Health Care system, both blood and donating are free. It used to be done through the Red Cross but is now run by Canadian Blood Services. I have my 35 times pin & certificate for blood donations, but now I usually just donate platelets under the plateletpheresis program as both my parents died of leukemia (years apart).

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in London and England - and those who have friends and relatives there - today and over the next days and weeks as you try to restore your normal routines.
Thanks for the links, TaraLivesOn, I'll check them out. While I still think blood donation is of paramount importance, I may well have some interesting questions in the future for the Red Cross gentleman who has helped coordinate our yearly drive.

Waking up to news of the London bombings today, I was first gripped by a feeling of terrible sadness. Then, word of how England's citizens responded with calm, reasoned fortitude to the tragedy (only a day after the joy of winning the 2012 Olympics) reminded me how strong and brave a people they are. Please know that the thoughts of many here in the U.S. and around the world are with you tonight, and will continue to be in the days to come.

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2005-07-07 23:25 ]

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