No good deed goes unpunished

  1. I'm a bit angry.

    For the last few months, I've been giving blood at our local blood bank. You can only donate once every 60 days, so I'd donated twice so far this year. Did it in Feb. with no problem. I went back in April and donated, didn't seem to be any problems then either.

    Until Saturday, I get a letter from them saying my blood tested positive on initial screenings for Hep C, but the supplemental test and nucleic acid tests were both negative. It did say they recommend I talk to my Dr. to find out for sure if i"m negative. I spoke to a supervisor at the blood bank (not the Red Cross but a local medical foundation). She explained that they have a high rate of false positives, and since I work in healthcare, I obviouisly have a very active immune system with a lot of antibodies, so if the two follow up tests were negative, there is a 98% chance that I am negative, but to check with my Dr. She also said the bloodwork was sent to him as well.

    So I call my doc on monday. They haven't gotten anything, so they call the blood bank, who suddenlty can't find anything about me. So I call them back on Tues, and they find my records and say they'll fax it to my Doc ASAP. By 4pm tues, I still haven't heard anything, so I call my doc office and talk to his nurse. She said they still haven't gotten anthing. So I call the blood bank back.

    This time, the woman handling my case isn't in. The woman who answered the phone was rude and giggling at everything I said. I asked her if she thought it was funny that I may have Hep C, and she just giggled and said of course not. I told her I really needed to get ahold of someone who can fax this info to my Doc. She said no one was in, but would take a message. She just said that over and over. I explaiend my situation to her, and she just giggled again. I then asked her is that how they treat their blood donors by telling them they might have a serious illness, then throw every roadblock in the way so they can't confirm, and then laugh at them w hen they call to find out. She giggled again and said she didn't know.

    So by this time, I'm fuming. She transferred me to someone else who got ahold of this lady. I talked to her, who said she was faxing the info to my doc right away.

    So this morning, I call my doc's nurse. She said all they sent was a copy of the same letter that I gave them. :angryfire So she calls them back for to get the rest of the info.

    Last I know, the called and left a message after I had left for work, saying I need to call them when I can. SO now I have to wait yet another day to find out what is going on. This is what I get for being a good citizen, trying to do the right thing and help others. A serious scare and then the runaround. This is no way to treat people who donate blood. I have to say, I'm never ever ever ever ever donating blood ever again.

    Tim
    •  
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Sorry you're going through this. Wishing you well.
  4. by   tmiller027
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    Sorry you're going through this. Wishing you well.
    thank you. I'm pretty sure its nothing, but I just want to get it cleared up. This isn't the kind of thing you want to have doubts about. This is just not the way to treat people.
  5. by   Energizer Bunny
    IT sounds as though your local blood bank is very unprofessional and if I were you, I would speak to whoever you can to remedy this situation. If others are going through what you are and end up not donating because of it, the only people that are going to be harmed are those that need the blood. I'm sorry that this has been so horrible for you!
  6. by   RN-PA
    Quote from CNM2B
    IT sounds as though your local blood bank is very unprofessional and if I were you, I would speak to whoever you can to remedy this situation. If others are going through what you are and end up not donating because of it, the only people that are going to be harmed are those that need the blood. I'm sorry that this has been so horrible for you!
    I totally agree-- SO sorry you're going through this, but someone higher up than the giggling fool you had to deal with needs to know about all you've experienced. I'm a long-time blood donor, and our church used to host blood drives where I volunteered at the registration table, and we finally gave it up due to all kinds of problems working with the local Red Cross. I'm sure the whole organization shouldn't suffer for our negative experiences, but with the blood shortage, you'd think their employees would be a little more competent and concerned when dealing with the public.
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from CNM2B
    IT sounds as though your local blood bank is very unprofessional and if I were you, I would speak to whoever you can to remedy this situation... I'm sorry that this has been so horrible for you!
    Agree!

    Good luck!
  8. by   purplemania
    It is harder to dismiss someone who is standing in your face. Go to the office if possible. Also, write a letter to their Director. The lack of professionalism is appalling.
  9. by   tmiller027
    Thanks for the support everyone. I talked to my Doc's nurse this morning. Now the blood bank is telling them that they cant' send them my results unless I sign a waiver, but the letter they sent already says I signed a waiver. Now I have to pay out of MY pocket to go and get more tests done at the hospital to make sure I don't have anything.
  10. by   tmiller027
    Thanks for the support everyone. I talked to my Doc's nurse this morning. Now the blood bank is telling them that they cant' send them my results unless I sign a waiver, but the letter they sent already says I signed a waiver. Now I have to pay out of MY pocket to go and get more tests done at the hospital to make sure I don't have anything.

    Instead of writing a letter to the director, I'm thinking of writing a letter to the local paper. That way it'll be public and they'll be forced to address this issue before they go and put another spot on the local news as to how short their blood supply is.
  11. by   Still Riding
    I might add that one problem with going to the press is that it might discourage poeple from donating the much needed blood. And in the end it will be the patients that suffer because their is no blood when it is so despiratly needed.

    But I must add that i'm sorry that this has been such a bad experiene for you.

    SR
  12. by   manna
    I try to donate blood on a regular basis, and I got the same letter last time I gave. I can't tell you how terrified I was when I opened that envelope and at the top in big, bold black letters - all I saw was HIV/HEP C

    If the initial tests were positive, I wouldn't worry. Those are very broad and non-specific - and like they said, often turn up false positives. The latter tests they run are more precise, specific and expensive. If those came back negative, I don't think you have much to worry about.

    Good luck getting the issue resolved, nonetheless.
    Last edit by manna on May 20, '04
  13. by   AIS52
    I had a similar experience except that my false positive was for HIV!!! If I remember correctly they do two screenings, one for the actual virus (very specific) and one for antibodies (non-specific), and my antibody screening came back slightly positive which only means I just got over something.
    It was quite the scare but worst of all, the Red Cross assured me that I could donate again and if it was negative there would be no problem. I called my doctor right away to be retested and it was negative so a few months later I tried to donate again. This time they rejected me right away despite telling me I could donate again. Apparently the Red Cross changed their policy on donations and even if you test negative they don't want your blood- but not before putting me through the humiliation of being rejected at the last station before you lie down to donate.
    I guess I should be happy everyone was very professional about it and I didn't have to deal with any giggling.
  14. by   tmiller027
    Quote from Still Riding
    I might add that one problem with going to the press is that it might discourage poeple from donating the much needed blood. And in the end it will be the patients that suffer because their is no blood when it is so despiratly needed.

    But I must add that i'm sorry that this has been such a bad experiene for you.

    SR
    Yes but anymore, its the only way to get someone's attention. An angry letter from a donor, they can toss in the trash. A write up in the paper, they have to address. Their blood supply obviously isn't that short if this is how they treat their donors.

close