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"Your blood Sir"

Personal blood storage during dangerous vacations.
  (+6, -5)
(+6, -5)
  [vote for,

I don't know about most tourists, but when I'm planning a short hop to Uganda or even a holiday in Rwanda, I like to consider some of the risks. Needless to say, wise travelers to many destinations avoid drinking the water, eschew ice, unpeeled veggies, etc. A bad tummy is child's play in some places where an injury or illness, relatively benign in some locals, can subject the traveler to HIV, Hepatitis, Ebola . . . or worse!

The Personal Blood Storage Service (PBSS) would allow savvy travelers to have blood drawn in the PBSS sterile labs, prior to departure, and if needed while away their own blood could be sent FedEx or whatever the fastest way to send blood may be. At least travelers could breath easily during their transfusion.

Upon return, the blood would be donated to the Red Cross or some other blood worthy recipient.

Arcana, Dec 23 2007

lets give some... http://www.blood.co.uk/
[po, Dec 23 2007]


       Baked, I thought?
DrCurry, Dec 23 2007

       The PBSS people could be known as PBSS's (short for PhleBotomiStS)
phundug, Dec 23 2007

       an armful?
po, Dec 23 2007

       If you're going to have blood FedExed in from your home country (presumably somewhere less infectious than where you're holidaying), why would it have to be your own? I mean, yes, a "self transfusion" is better than a non-self transfusion for a number of reasons, but none are really that compelling. So, all you really need is a service which will ship you blood which has been subjected to the screening which we take for granted in the West.   

       Also, I suspect that an equal or greater infection risk comes from the equipment used in your Rwandan holiday hospital, rather than from the blood.   

       Also, there are relatively few circumstances where you'll need a transfusion. But, in those few circumstances, you're likely to need it rather quickly.   

       Also, if you look at transfusion in the UK (and presumably elsewhere), it turns out that if you need any, you're quite likely to need lots. So, you're going to have to bank several units of blood, over a fairly long period of time, to make this worthwhile.   

       Also, with so many alsos, this is a [-].
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2007

       Would a really really long needle work better?
Arcana, Dec 23 2007

       It depends on what you're knitting. What did you have in mind?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2007

       Reminiscent of a line from C.W. McCall's "Black Bear Road":   

       "Me an' RJ an' the kids was on a camp-out in the mountains, and we had us one'a them U-Drive-'Em Army Jeep cars which we rented from a fella by the name of Kubozke for thirty bucks a day, buy your gas along the way, take a rabbit's foot and leave a pint of blood for a dee-posit."   

       Iffn ya hain't never actually heerd, ner heerd of, C.W. McCall, don't worry none. Yu'll live.
lurch, Dec 23 2007

       //Blood in the UK may still be contaminated with BSE prions//   

       True. But we have our ebola issues contained.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2007

       C.W. McCall. I remember that. Word for word.   

       How about you take some blood in your luggage? A nice ice chest, four pints of good blood, transfusion equipment and some extra medical goodies. Send it to the most likely hospital when you arrive. If you leave without needing it, the hospital is a winner. Make an organized service out of that, and I'd join.
baconbrain, Dec 24 2007

       I'm not dissuaded. Fine, enclose sterile state of the art needles with the blood shipment. Even if it's just psychological, if I need blood, I'd rather have my own polluted ooze than take my chances with some anonymous donor which, though tested, with my luck would come from the veins of a Rhesus monkey I dated years ago. Seeing my first fish bone tempts me to bun myself, but I've already taken an oath against the practice.
Arcana, Dec 25 2007

       Yeah, the idea that your blood can be sent in fast enough time to be usefull is not on par. The idea that more people would potentially donate and then transfer the blood to needy organizations is a great benefit. While only 5% of Americans donate blood, many more than that travel to areas where they may feel that the health care system is inadequate. A mandatory pre-flight blood donatation would be great, you would also be able to find out if you got sick before or after your trip.
grim, Dec 26 2007

       Obviously, correct me if I am wrong, as I am no doctor, but I did some research after talking to a Jehovah’s Witness (who don't believe in blood transfusions, I'm atheist, but open-minded) and blood transfusions seem over used. Most times straight saline would be fine. There are some normal hospitals that have pledged that transfusions are only used in extreme cases. The cases that require actual blood in necessary, I think for this service, some kind of concentrate of hemoglobin could be mixed with straight saline. This concentrate would be easier to store and ship.   

       PS I love that C.W. McCall song, though I can no longer remember all the words.
MisterQED, Dec 26 2007

       There are a whole lot of liquids (rarely just saline) which are used for transfusions. They usually contain a variety of salts and sugars, plus various colloids to give the correct osmotic balance. These liquids are already used in many instances, primarily to maintain blood volume. There are also oxygen- carrying artificial "bloods", but these are used only when there is no alternative.   

       There aren't that many cases where whole blood, or blood products, are used unnecessarily at present. JW's present a problem, and in these cases it's obviously worth using whatever you can. But in most other cases, blood is used where it's the best option.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2007


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