March 26, 2012

Writer Wrangler: Roland Yeomans

Roland Yeomans
author of

to name a few.

This edition of Writer Wrangler is a little different because it'll be a tad personal.

We meet a lot of full-time and part-time authors and when we do get a chance to talk to them, we usually ask about their pen life. We seldom ask them about their personal lives and if we do, we keep it to a minimum. 

We've been following Writing in Crosshairs, Roland Yeomans' blog, and we got to know him a little better. His books are full of imaginative adventure but Mr. Yeomans' is a modern superhero in real life. He helps save lives by being a blood courier.

So my curiosity got the best of me so I asked him to write a post about his full time job.

Hi, Braine:

When you hear terrible thunder overhead and look out to see blinding rain, fog, or snow ... say a prayer for the rare blood courier driving out in that weather. Ill patients need blood every day. And the need cannot be ignored.

I have driven 400 miles in one day delivering blood to various rural hospitals. Whew! There are many jobs in America, but there are few noble ones. I am lucky enough to have a noble one.

Don't hospitals carry their own supply? Yes and no. Like banks get their money from the mint, hospitals get their blood supply from blood centers. Red blood cells expire in 42 days, the viable oxygen decreasing with each day. Infants therefore need blood that is no older than 6 days and 0- (a rare blood type.) There is another blood product called platelets (they control bleeding.) Cancer and surgery patients need those blood products. And when they need them, they need them as quickly as possible. No waiting for better weather.

Then, there is the need to pick up samples of individual's blood from rural hospitals to bring to our lab. 

Major Cross-match: Recipient serum is tested against donor packed cells to determine if the recipient has preformed antibodies against any antigens on the donor's cells. This is the required cross-match prior to release of a unit of packed cells. Minor Cross-match: Recipient red cells are tested against donor serum to detect donor antibodies directed against a patient's antigens. This is no longer required. It is assumed that the small amount of donor serum and antibodies left in a unit of packed cells will be diluted in a recipient.

Of course there is more to what I do. My official title is Product Management technician, and I handle the blood from the drawing from a donor, to the filtering, to the QC of the blood, to all the 1001 forms of official paperwork to be completed.

I hope this helps in some small way. 

Thanks for being my friend, 

Thank you Roland, for granting our request and for the Talk Supe plugs in your blog. 

If you want to know more about Roland, visit his blog
and Amazon for his book list.  

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