The blood you donate gives someone another chance at life. One day that someone may be a close relative, a friend, a loved one—or even you.
Earlier this week I was getting ready to give blood, and whilst the lady was sorting the bags out, we were discussing how many people give blood. “Only 4% of people who can give blood, do give blood” she told me. 4%??! This seems outrageous to me. Even if you take away everyone who has a severe needle phobia, this statistic would still be unbelievably low.
This got me thinking about why people who can, don’t give blood, and I thought that maybe some people don’t because they have a fear for the unknown. I remember being nervous the first time I went to donate because I didn’t know what to expect. So I’ve decided to do a bit of a rundown of what you will be faced with if you sign up to give blood, and I’m sure it’s a lot less scary that what most people expect!
The service is all online now so it is super easy to sign up at http://www.blood.co.uk.
Once registered, you can browse sessions to find a location, date and time suitable for you. There are sessions everyday of the week from early morning till late evening, so there should be something to suit everyone.
Once you’ve booked, you’re paperwork will be sent to you in the post. This is just a questionnaire to make sure it is safe for you to donate. It takes about 1 minute to complete.
So when the date comes for you to donate, just turn up at the location and there will be signs directing you to the correct room. Here you let a member of staff know you have arrived. You will be given an information leaflet to read and some juice to drink whilst you wait for part 1 of the process.
Before long you will get called for your finger prick. This happens a behind a screen to ensure privacy. One of the Donor Carers will ask you a few questions about your recent health and prick the end of your finger with a lancet device. This doesn’t hurt and is done to make sure you have enough iron in your blood. Once you’ve passed this stage, you get taken to a chair to give blood. You get to lie back and have a few minutes to yourself whilst you potentially save a life!
The Carer Donor will clean your arm and then insert a needle into your arm. If you’re not fond of needles, just look away and it’s all over in a matter of seconds. They will then take a couple of tubes of blood before connecting it to a bag to fill up. This takes about 10 minutes, and you are left to relax during this time. You can’t tell anything is happening and can’t feel the needle.
***IMAGES OF NEEDLES BELOW***
Once your donation is finished, you even get a cup of tea and a biscuit, giving you chance to make sure you feel OK before you go home!
The whole process takes about an hour. One hour out of your week.
I hope reading this makes you feel a little more comfortable about the process of giving blood and encourages you to join up! A few weeks after each donation, you get a text telling you where your blood has gone and one day it might be you or your family needing it, so why not become a donor today?
Love, RouxWithAView xxx