I am happy to report that Trina's friend and co-worker, Arracelli, has been admitted to the hospital tonight and tomorrow her precious baby will be born by C section. Trina worked so hard to help Arracelli get the needed blood donated so that was required by the hospital. I pitched in with a bit of blood and a lot of time. Trina was at the hospital every day for what seemed like a week from 7 am - almost noon as donors were not accepted because the nurses could not hit a vein or because they had to leave to go to work when they found out that a 7 am appointment was not quite a 7 am appointment, since another 40 people also had 7 am appointments and it was a half day ordeal to donate the blood, or even to find out that they would not take your blood for one of several reasons. Very special thanks go out to Bundy, Kim, Liz and especially to Lisa who put us over the top without spilling hardly a drop of blood, and who spent over four hours at the hospital today waiting, while she entertained Trina and I who were there for moral support and to make sure that this was a"done deal" today, one way or the other. All this for a friend, Arracelli, of a friend, Trina, of a friend, me, of a friend, Liz, who turned us on to Lisa. What a team we were. Seems like the foreignors saved the day. Read on. For those of you who may have missed it in another thread, Arracelli had something relating to her placenta that in natural childbirth would have more or less strangled or suffocated the baby. So a C section was required in order to save the baby. The necessary blood for this procedure was required before they would do her surgery. Not the actual blood for the transfusion, as the hospital blood bank has it all set to go. But they require the inventory to be replenished in terms of quantity, not in terms of blood type, before the surgery. Far be it from me to make any comments that would offend people who suggest that Americans have no right to try to improve things in a foreign country, but this whole process could easily and simply be improved if anyone cared enough to do so. I would suggest that the reason that IMMS finds it necessary to have this "bleed in advance" policy is that their procedure for donating blood simply SUCKS, to borrow a word from Gene's post about Immigration. Simply put, donating blood is such a time consuming pain in the ass that people only donate blood at the last minute and only then if the patient has begged and pleaded with every family member and friend to help. In this case, I really think that a few caring and giving gringos saved the life of what we hope and pray will be a healthy baby. FYI, donating blood at IMMS is a minimum of a 4 hour process on a good day. They have a system that they announce may not be perfect but that it works for them. Unfortunately it does not work for the donors. There is a long wait at every step in the process. I estimate that in my donating experience, which included drawing a tube of blood for testing for drugs, hepatis or whatever, then an interview with a nurse who inquired about my social history and took my blood pressure, and then the donating process itself, that total time was under 30 minutes. Unfortunately for me, I was at the hospital for 4.5 hours for what could and should have been a 30 minute process. But so far the story finally has a happy ending.