Do: Give Blood

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Last week I finally got round to doing something I haven’t done for quite a while

It took up less than an hour of my time, it involved eating free gingernut biscuits – and I potentially saved someone’s life…

Can you guess what it is yet?

In the UK only 4% of the population give blood, which seems awfully low to me for something that’s so important and so easy to do!

There are certain rules about who can and can’t donate – but if you’re a healthy adult between 17 and 65 I’d urge you to think seriously about signing up

Step-by-step…

For anyone feeling a little nervous, here’s how my appointment on Friday went…

  • Arrived at my local donor centre early for the appointment I’d made on the phone just a week before
  • Filled out a form to confirm my health and travels abroad since my last visit
  • Read my book in the waiting room, while sipping on a pint of water (this helps keep up your blood pressure!)
  • I’m called through to a little room where my finger is pricked and a drop of blood is dropped into a testtube to check my iron levels – I pass!
  • Next a short wait in another waiting area…
  • Then onto a special chair where the nurse checks my arms for a good vein (mine are particularly small apparently!)
  • My arm is cleaned with antiseptic and I look away as the needle is popped in
  • And then I just lie back and get fully absorbed back into my book – clenching and unclenching my hand on the donation arm to keep circulation up
  • When the donation bag is full a little alarm goes off and the nurse reappears to ‘unhook’ me
  • I gradually rise up from the chair, a little at a time to check I feel okay, as a plaster is applied to my arm
  • And then it’s off to the corner with tea and biscuits to give my blood sugar a little lift!

Throughout the session the staff were lovely – from the nurse who did my iron test (and gave me a great tip for my dry skin) to the lady who served my tea (and had a full on conversation with me about real books vs e-readers – much to the bemusement of a fellow donator!)

Crucially, I don’t find donating painful and it’s never made me faint – it’s just a little uncomfortable as the needle goes in

And being a little uncomfortable isn’t such a big deal when you might help save a life

Do you give blood? What are your experiences? Do you have any worries?

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5 thoughts on “Do: Give Blood

  1. Claire says:

    A really worthwhile thing to do

  2. Good for you! It’s so important! I’m not allowed at the moment (I fainted twice so I’m on a three year ban) but I used to give blood every twelve weeks without fail and you’re right: it’s quick and easy and who can argue with free biscuits?

  3. bakearama says:

    Good on you! I give as regularly as I can as it’s a really easy way to do something for someone else, and it doesn’t cost a penny! But whilst I find it easy and have no problems Rob feels very unwell when he donates – he nearly fainted the first time we went. So now I have to bribe him with McDonald’s every time we go!!

    • makedospend says:

      My older male cousin also felt faint when I encouraged him to go along – I guess it affects people in different ways – impressed he still goes along despite that :)

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