Tonight I am am donating my 18th pint of the red stuff and I will probably continue to be preachy about being a donor for many pints more.
If you’ve never thought about being a donor, then maybe now is the time. Heck make a note and sign up now ready for a new year’s resolution! (Sorry! I know it’s only October.)
Loads of people already give blood, so why do new people need to sign up? Some donors can’t continue to give, if for example they had to have a blood transfusion themselves.
Also, you might have a rare blood type, and those are hard to come by! Not all blood can go to all people, variety is the spice of life, but also means a variety of donors are needed.
Have a read of more persuasive info here on the Blood.co.uk website.
If you’ve not donated because you’re not sure if you can there is lots of information about who can here on the Blood.co.uk website. A quick overview:
Most people can give blood. You can give blood if you:
- are fit and healthy
- weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs or 50kg
- are aged between 17 and 66 (or 70 if you have given blood before)
- are over 70 and have given blood in the last two years
Men can give blood every 3 months and women can give blood every 4 months.
If you are wondering about the 3 vs 4 months, I think it’s related to the speed with which women regenerate blood, but don’t quote me on that. Google it.
What’s the donation process like?
Now, the actual donation, is a you might expect: a needle in your arm for a while, whilst you lie back and count ceiling tiles.
The overall process is a little longer, and it’s important to remember that the staff are doing their best and it’s a great thing to do. The sessions I have been to in the last near decade have always been fully booked and running around 20 minutes late.
- Register online and book an appointment. Don’t just show up. They want you, but they won’t have space on the night.
- You’ll get a form sent to you in the post about your current health, and recent travel. Try to fill this in before you get these and have it ready to hand in. Makes things much quicker.
- Drink lots of water and do not skip meals on the day of your donation.
- Take a book or a mag. There might be some there, but there are no guarantees you’ll find one you want to read.
- Have a biscuit and a drink after. They are free, and will help you on your way home. No one wants you feeling faint!
- Book another appointment before you leave!
There is way way more information about what happens, the health screening, after your donation and what lovely donor card you’ll receive on the website here.
If you have any questions at all about donating, I’m not a nurse and my own experience is only as a donor but I’d be happy to answer.