Sunday, May 11, 2008


Rara avis

Woo-hoo! The New York Blood Center has informed me that I’m a “code 96”:

In fact, NYBC has the largest inventory of rare blood types in the U.S. — but we always need more rare blood. Almost everyday we receive a call from a hospital somewhere in the world trying to locate a rare blood type for a specific patient. These precise units are so rare, in fact, that we specially classify them as either “Code 99” or “Code 96” donors. Code 96 donors lack a particular combination of common markers, while Code 99 donors lack a marker nearly all other people have. Giving rare units of blood a special designation makes storage and, more importantly, retrieval of these rare units easier. That’s also why we encourage donors to self-identify their ethnicity on our donor registration forms so the screening process for a rare unit of blood likely to be found within a specific ethnic group is streamlined for a patient in need.

A-, CMV-, code 96. They tell me that means they can use my blood for all kinds of groovy things. So when blood drive time rolls around again in a few weeks, I’ll be back on the table.

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