Today the Red Cross Bloodmobile is at our shop! Many of the staff donated. I personally found the volunteers very engaging (thanks, Theresa!), and I feel good. Here are some musings by Dr. Ernest Campbell, a great guy who maintains a great online resource, scuba-doc.com

 

“The donor’s body replenishes the fluid lost from donation in 24 hours. If not anemic (Hgb<12 Gm/dl) a person can dive in 24 hours after blood donation. It may take up to two months to replace the lost red blood cells. Whole blood can be donated once every eight weeks. The most important part of the blood to the diver is the red blood cell, responsible for the transport of oxygen to the tissues. The fluid part of blood is replenished in about one day. If the diver waits 24 hours and has a normal hematocrit, then diving should be allowed.”

 

“Red blood cells are perhaps the most recognizable component of whole blood. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a complex iron-containing protein that carries oxygen throughout the body and gives blood its red color. The percentage of blood volume composed of red blood cells is called the “hematocrit.” The average hematocrit in an adult male is 47 percent. There are about one billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood, and, for every 600 red blood cells, there are about 40 platelets and one white cell. Manufactured in the bone marrow, red blood cells are continuously being produced and broken down. They live for approximately 120 days in the circulatory system and are eventually removed by the spleen.”