Giving blood saves lives.
In David Robinson’s case giving blood saved his own life.
When David, 39, visited the Red Cross Blood Van in Forbes in November last year he was told his heart rate was too irregular to donate.
David, who is originally from Forbes but now lives in Parkes and makes the daily commute to work in Forbes, was visiting the Red Cross blood van to make a regular donation.
A donor since his late twenties, little did he realise that his November visit to donate life saving blood would set off a chain of events that have possibly saved his life.
“As part of the pre-donation checks they found an irregular and very low heart rate,” David said of the staff at the Red Cross blood van.
“They advised me not to be too stressed but if I had time I should make an appointment to see a doctor.
“I did it that same day and the next thing I knew I was in the Orange Cardiac Unit.”
David spent a couple of days in Orange and was required to wear a heart rate monitor for 48 hours.
“Some of the readings that came back where pretty extreme.
“I think I had a low heart rate of 17 beats per minute with a seven second pause in between heart beats,” he said.
When the results came back he was told to go straight to Parkes Hospital from where he was flown to Sydney.
“It all happened very quickly. I was at Royal Prince Alfred for nearly two weeks, had a pacemaker inserted on the 19th of December and was back home on the 20th,” David said.
He realises he now has a long road to recovery but is thankful of his decision to give blood and appreciative of the blood bank staff who alerted him of his condition.
An active sportsman who played first grade rugby league just last season, David says he noticed he was feeling tired before his blood bank visit but dismissed his lethargy as normal.
“I was tired but in saying that, there were lifestyle factors that I associated with it, not enough sleep, being busy with the kids, we’d just moved house and were renovating, lots of late nights. I could always allocate a reason to why I was tired.
“I was not the typical candidate for a pacemaker.
“I always had a low heart rate, sitting around the 45 beats per minute, but it was just deemed as fitness.
“Even the ambulance officers couldn’t believe I could hold a coherent conversation,” David added.
In early January David says he was lucky enough to make a visit to the Red Cross blood van when it visited Parkes.
On duty that day were some of the same staff who had been at the van when he visited it in Forbes.
“It was good to say g’day and say thank you,” David said.
Red Cross volunteer Jim Griffiths said David’s case shows the service’s simple procedures before you start to donate can highlight something that might not be picked up.
“In this case the screening was just fantastic,” Mr Griffiths said.
“Donating blood saves lives,” David said, encouraging locals to take time to visit the van when it is next in Parkes from April 1-3.
To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au