Visitors...

A Murder Scene...

So here's a terrifying story that will, I hope, capture your attention and imagination. Plus, I would love to clue you in on my line of work, as it is very dangerous business.


I deal with these things called units of blood. (See image to the left) Did you know that we use terms such as trees, burping, and cutting tubes...i will explain through a story of intrigue.

As a component tech, my job is to take the blood after it has been drawn from the arm and filter it down so that the white blood cells are captured in the filter and the red blood cells travel safely into a new blood bag through a series of tubes. In order to filter blood you must hang it up on these contraptions we call trees. A tree is like a modified iv pole that can hold up to 16 units at one time. Each unit has its own cubby hole home.

After filteration, the red blood cells, which are smaller that whiteblood cells have passed through the tubing into their new home bag. But, a major issue still remains. There is a small amount of air that has invaded the new bag from manufacturing and the actual needle stick. So when you filter, you must burp. A tech takes the new blood bag home, and then proceeds to squeeze the blood back up through the filter, which consequently pushes the air back into the old blood bag home. Then it refilters with out the air.

However, burping is tricky because you are putting quite a bit of pressure onto the unit's bag and sometimes those bags aren't made as well as all the other bags in the batch. This my friends causes problems....Unfortunately I was the victim of a brutal crime in which my unit of blood revolted against me and said that he was just fine with the air and didn't need anyone man-handling him without permission. Well, we battled back and forth, and the unti won because he was freed from his bags spattered all over my clothing, my shoes, the floor, the cabinets, the walls, and anywhere else you could see in a radius of 10 feet. It was a murder scene. Never in my life have I seen so much blood. But the scary thing is that the blood that I work with is untested. So we have to take lots of precations when the units rebel against us. The whole lab is bleached, my scrubs are thrown in a biohazardous bin, my body is thrown into a very hot shower, the leftovers from the unit are collected into a double-bagged ziplock looking contraption and sent to blood unit heaven (aka the graveyard). The whole process of cleanup is long and ardous, plus you feel ridiculously creepy and disgusting no matter how clean you try to get. Plus, you have to be tested. Yuck. all is a days work, though. It is always exciting here!

1 comments:

Lili said...

Those mean units. You'd think they would be nice ... you know... "Life Blood" and everything but that just seams to not be the case. I am VERY glad that you are okay.

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