"In the midst of his finger-fiddling, Bailey tore the wall of the aorta. Blood poured from the patient's chest. Death was inevitable. Kantrowitz exclaimed in despair, at which point Bailey turned around and said, his stare cool and unblinking above his mask, "Adrian, if you are going to be a heart surgeon, you've got to remember one thing. The blood on the floor is not your own" - Charles Bailey, cardiac surgeon to Adrian Kantrowitz, cardiac surgeon in training".
|Author giving blood|
Blood is a problem in Nigeria. Nigerians don't like to donate blood. I am not sure exactly why. Many are anemic to start. Many feel that it will drain their strength and reduce their ability to work-which is often hard labor. I'm sure there are other reasons but the bottom line is that blood is often scarce when you need it. As a result, the missionary team is often the walking blood bank. We all know our bood type and when the need comes, we give blood. I have given blood every week for three weeks, without any side-effects. Of course, when we give blood, the blood on the floor may well be ours.
Nigerians are very thankful when you donate blood to them. I gave blood to a nurse at the hospital 20 years ago and she still thanks me for it every time I see her.
We save blood whenever we can. In cases such as a ruptured ectopic, we use our special "cell-saver". This consists of a funnel with guaze in it. We scoop up the blood from the abdomen with a decanter and pour it into the funnel. It comes through into an attached rubber tubing which is clamped. Then we collect the blood from the tubing with a blood bag. Near instant autotransfusion!