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
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?