THE toughest thing about donating blood is walking through the door.
Just talking about it can bring out responses of ‘I can’t stand the sight of blood’ ‘I hate needles’ ‘I don’t know how you can do it’ etc, cue shudders all round the office.
And yet, it’s not that terrifying after all.
First of all, you don’t have to look at the blood if you don’t want to, or the needle, and to be honest, my care assistant was chatting away so merrily when the needle went in, I barely felt a thing.
So the biggest hill to get over is signing up in the first place, and once through that door, the process clicks smoothly in action.
A health check questionnaire is filled in just to make sure you are fit and well, while a leaflet explains what happens to your donation.
Then each donor has their questionnaire checked and a blood sample is taken – and don’t worry, it’s just a via a pinprick.
After that, it’s waiting for your name to be called, details to be checked and then each donor is tilted back in a comfortable chair, the needle is inserted and the donation can begin.
It’s all over in ten minutes, there’s a neat plaster on your arm and a cup of tea, chocolate biscuits, fruit or crisps await.
Oh, and there’s also the thought that your blood will help seriously ill patients from cancer victims to people undergoing major surgery or maybe those who have been involved in serious accidents.
County Pop:17-70 Donors %
Warwickshire: 376,720 11,846 3.1%
Worcestershire 390,309 11,736 3.0%
West Midlands 187,3048 30,481 1.6%
Five facts about blood
1. Saving Lives – Being a blood donor you will change lives each time you give. Every blood donation can save or improve the lives of up to three adults or six children.
2. It’s not just for emergencies – Donated blood is also needed for patients having surgery, mums in maternity emergencies, and people with cancer or blood disorders.
3. 6,000 donations needed a day – for hospitals across England and North Wales.
4. Just Seventeen – You can donate blood from your 17th birthday. You need to be in general good health and weigh over 50kg
5. BAME Donors – More volunteers from black, Asian and ethnic minority communities are needed. Some rare blood types are more common among black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.
Bonus Fun Fact!
Around six million biscuits are eaten by donors every year.