Did you ever wonder what it is like to give a blood donation to the San Diego Blood Bank?
Here is a small snippet of what it looks like before and after the procedure when you donate blood to the San Diego Blood Bank (#SDbloodBank). Don’t worry… we will spare you the semi-graphic images of the finger-prick or needle insertion. The goal of this video is to help you realize that the procedure is not too painful, not scary, super sanitary, and has the perks of community service with unlimited goodie snacks.
The challenge with the blood bank is inventory:
- Part of the inherit issue is that most people do NOT go out of their daily routine to seek out the feeling of a syringe in their arm for 10 minutes. Let’s face it, it is NOT a pleasant experience, despite only being 1 second of pain. For this reason, not that many people donate regularly to the San Diego Blood Bank.
- San Diego county is very large and the SD Blood Bank has to cover the entire county. So the need is GREAT, compared to to what is stored in the SD Blood Bank storage facilities. How many hospitals in San Diego county need blood packets? Combine that with the growing diabetes epidemic and the need for lots of blood transfusion centers in each part of San Diego County. Can you see why the need is great?
- Blood units are also perishable. So even if there was enough blood in the inventory, that only lasts for “that” particular day or particular week. They must dispose of donation units according to expiration date. That happens a lot.
The best way to understand the “inventory problem” is to use the analogy of a bucket.
So you have this bright orange bucket from #homedepot. Thanks Homer! You want to fill it up with water. But not just any water, it has to the super expensive stuff, like Fiji Water. Too bad you only have enough money to buy 2 or 3 of those cool looking rectangle bottles. So what do you do? You go out to your neighbors, friends, and family and ask them to pitch in and put their super expensive Fiji Water in the bucket. But like asking people for a favor; people are busy, they can’t give you their Fiji water, or they are just not interested (See point #1). Somehow you get enough people to max out your bucket with Fiji water. Yay! Too bad it’s the middle of summer and all that Fiji water starts to evaporate out of your bucket (See point #3). Oops, you forgot that your cool looking Homer bucket has a like 10 holes at the bottom. Darn! (See point #2)
Now can you understand the inventory dilemma of the San Diego Blood Bank?
It’s hard enough to get people to fill the bucket. But then your inventory is naturally being reduced from the top and you also have those distribution holes at the bottom also reducing your inventory.
So what is this blog post about when we’re talking orange buckets, blood, sun, and a big white bus? It’s about donating blood. It’s about giving a small piece of yourself to someone you’ll have a 99% chance of never meeting. But it’s about doing your part of help fill that bucket to save someone’s life.
Please consider making a blood donation this week, OK?
3636 Gateway Center Avenue, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92102
1-800-4MY-SDBB or (1-800-469-7322)