I’m watching Baghdad Hospital: Inside the Red Zone, an HBO documentary about one of the major trauma centers in Baghdad, where they’ve gone from mainly doing appendectomies to daily shrapnel extractions and penetrating trauma explorations. Their blood bank so frequently runs low that they take a patient’s ID card, and someone must go to the blood bank in the patient’s name and donate blood to get the ID back.
Perhaps the Red Cross or hospital blood banks should use a similar tactic: there’s always a good 100 people (at least) waiting in the surgery waiting room or the ICU waiting area who are visitors or family of a patient. Why not ask them to donate blood? They’re not doing anything else, they get free cookies, and they’ll be repaying the donation someone else made to ensure that blood is available for the next person who needs it. How about it, Mr. Levy? You always seem open to trying new things.
(The film is incredibly depressing, and the images gruesome: children getting bilateral chest tubes and DPLs because they don’t have film for xrays; doctors taken hostage and killed. I can’t imagine the stress of the staff and the patients there.)