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Walking Blood Bank

Donating blood to save the life of one of my patients.

One of the worst days I have ever worked at Hospital Loma de Luz ended with me giving my blood in attempt to save one of patients. You see, Honduras does not have an American Red Cross. If a patient needs blood, YOU are the blood bank, the "walking blood bank," as we like to call it. When I walked into recovery to check on our last surgical patient of the day, Rosalinda, one of our Honduran nurses, appeared to be in a panic. I noticed my patient's head was tilted towards the floor in Trendelenburg position. His blood pressure was 50s/30s and he was bleeding into his Foley bag. I called a rapid response on the radio and called our visiting urology doctors to return to PACU. We hung IV fluids and started him on Levophed (a vasoconstrictor IV medication to treat life-threatening low blood pressure). We knew we were behind the ball in how much blood he had lost and he would soon go into cardiac arrest from hypovolemic shock. I called Christine, our lab director, and told her we needed to transfuse blood ASAP! She rushed in and tested our patient's blood. A+. "Who has A+ blood that can donate right now?" Knowing I am A+, I quietly thought of the last time I gave blood, then realized I was just past the 3-month time period. "I'm A+ and can give blood now," I responded. While Christine rushed to the lab to grab supplies, I called Dr. Jason on the radio to tell him he was on-deck to donate. In less than one hour, we had 3 units of blood donated to give to my patient between Dr. Jason, the visiting urologist's wife, and I. Due to our quick response of treating him before he went into cardiac arrest, donating blood, and rushing him back to the OR to stop the bleeding, I am happy to say the Lord spared his life and he went home 4 days later. Praise the Lord!

My blood being transfused into my patient in the operating room.

There is an underlying message to this story. You see, my patient was not the only one who had received blood to save his life. If you are a born-again believer, a follower of Christ, you, too, have received Christ's blood to save your life...for eternity. One pint of our blood can save up to 3 people, but only one drop of His blood can save the world. Our blood is a donation; His blood was a sacrifice. Our donation is quick and relatively easy; His was painful and drawn-out. Some may be rejected to give blood due to diseases; Christ's blood is always pure. Our blood donation is only good for 42 days; Christ's blood is eternally fresh.