It is something you never think of, but if you needed it would you accept it? I know I wouldn’t think twice of accepting blood if I or my family needed it. So I donate blood when I can. Recently there has been a big drive to try and get the more rarer types of blood, as stockpiles are running low. Imagine needing a donation but none being available. It is a position I hope no one will ever be in. Men are able to donate every 3 months, and us women every 4 months.
The process is really simple. You can book an appointment online www.Blood.co.uk. You will receive some paperwork through the post which you fill in and then turn up on the day. Once signed in you can help yourself to water and biscuits.
You get called into a little partition for a health screening where they will confirm your identity and take a small blood sample from your fingertip. This is tested for haemoglobin levels. If your levels are fine, you have passed the first test. If not, then a nurse will come and draw blood from your arm to check the levels again. Depending if you are able to donate you will be asked to wait to one side of the room for the next part. If you are not able to donate then depending on the circumstances (9/10 it is because of your iron levels) you can rebook.
When called, you sit on a large comfy plastic chair, you are then asked to confirm name, address and dob.
A pressure cuff is put on your upper arm to help make your vein stand out, the needle will be inserted. They take a couple of vials first for testing, then you get hooked up to the blood bag. The bag is placed on a scale which weighs the blood, once it is full it beeps to alert staff you have finished. After the donation they apply a large plaster, and a pressure roll. You are not allowed to do any strenuous activities so no climbing mountains! or heavy lifting, so that is weight lifting out the window!
But, wait! The best bit ever about donating, is the Tea and biscuits at the end! I love that part!
Please, please please if you are able too Donate!! Especially if you are O Negative as your blood can be given to anyone!!