[Note: This entry was actually written in Sep 2009. I changed the posting date to keep my blog entries in chronological order.]

Today, I receive two separate emails from the National Kidney Registry stating that they never received my physical exam report or lab test results. I call them and it turns out that they did and the emails were sent in error. However, they do need a printed confirmation of my blood type. It’s not enough for me to tell them verbally that my blood type is AB+; they need it in writing.

Oddly, none of the blood test results from the lab indicate my blood type.

Luckily, I am a regular plasma donor at the Puget Sound Blood Center, so I can just go to its website, print my donor card, and fax it to the NKR.

My blood donor card. Image from Puget Sound Blood Center

(Hmm, I notice there’s a lack of security/privacy in the PSBC’s donor card web service. Anyone can find another person’s blood type and donor ID number by just knowing some public information about that person. Further, the URL for printing my PSBC donor card is an ASP page with the personalized information encoded in plain text, http://www.psbc.org/_card/index.asp?donor=GEORGE%20%20TANIWAKI&btype=ABPS&code=00757990. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to print their own fake donor ID card. Anyway, why should the NKR trust that my blood type is AB+ just because I send a fax that contains an official looking form rather than a handwritten note or tell them verbally over the phone?)