American Red Cross Blood Donors has pissed me off – AGAIN

I went in to my appointment to donate blood today. I was SO looking forword to it! I’ve been trying to donate for 3 months, but there has not been an open appointment I could take. I finally got one on a day I don’t have classes, because I’m on school break for 10 days. Yay, and yay! But NOOOoooooo….. Yet another issue with SE MI Red Cross blood donation again. Today the “master computer” was down when I showed up for my donation.

1) No one called or messaged me to say don’t come because we can’t take your donation. I was not in the first time slot for donations, it wasn’t like they had just found the problem.

2) The nice lady at the drive said I would wait the hour (or more) until a new computer showed up, and then donate. But I know all the donation appointments for the drive were full, and everyone else who showed up would be wanting to donate at their appointment time. I said as much, and the nice lady looked caught in headlights, while the nice man behind her checking equipment nodded at me in agreement. If the 12 of us who had appointments over that hour all stayed and waited to donate, there would be no way the staff would get to everyone who showed up for appointments.

So not only did I not get to donate – at least 12 others (24 if my understanding of the start time of the drive is right, and assuming the computer actually shows up when expected) also do not donate today. That’s a lot of blood donations lost in a time of higher than usual high need.

3) This is not the first time in the last 2 years SE MI blood donation has had problems.

3A) One time about a year ago I actually was called to say don’t come, we can’t take donations right now because of technical issues.

3B) Roughly 2 years ago I walked in to a donation center because all the appointments were full but I was assured I could walk in, waited 75 minutes because all the appointments were full and the staff could not squeeze me in. Then, when 3 prospective donors all in a row were turned away due to the mini-physical (one had too high BP, one had too low iron, I don’t know about the other one) I asked if I could take the place of one of them as a walk-in. There were now 3 beds opening up in the donation room and no one to fill them. Even though I had successfully donated 69 times before, I was point blank told “No.” So I got up and left. It was clear a walk in was not going to be allowed to donate.

3C) Oh! I almost forgot the time about a year and a half ago when I showed up to donate at the actual Red Cross donation center in Ann Arbor, and the staff only had 1 working blood pressure cuff to use across all donors!

I’m just so mad. Donating blood is very important to me. The issues SE MI has has are all stupid and easily preventable! It all comes down to logistics.
- Test EVERYTHING before the stuff is sent out to a drive. Replace anything not working BEFORE the stuff is sent out!
- ALWAYS send a backup master computer!
- In fact, always send at least 1 extra of everything!
- Plan to arrive earlier than early! Or at least check traffic so you can pick a route to get the blood drive there on time and not get stuck in the express lanes on 95 or in the perpetual traffic jam on 75.
- No center should every be down to the last . When they get to the number of that is the same as the number of privacy rooms / screening staff / donation appointments at a given time THAT is when the request for more of gets made. And those requests shouldn’t take > 2 business days to fill! Amazon can get you almost anything in 2 days. The individual Red Cross chapters cover way less territory with its own vans should be able to deliver whatever’s needed in hours, not days. If not – order it from Amazon or a local medical supply company that delivers next day!

I’m so mad. I’m just so mad I might run a blood drive. I even know right where I’d do it.

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One Response to American Red Cross Blood Donors has pissed me off – AGAIN

  1. Pingback: Full Count! | As I Live and Learn

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