DONATE BLOOD: Do something amazing today
Sometimes you need to give back or pay forward, depending on your perspective.
We are proud of our colleagues who donate, one reaching the 100th donation recently.
We also work to save the NHS time by volunteering where needed, with our Director undertaking SERV Emergency Blood Bikes for West Sussex hospitals, moving samples, blood and platelets.
Why do we think it so important to donate blood, to do something amazing today? Here we explore why you might want to consider donating.
It is the gift of life
At its most fundamental, donating blood saves lives. As the World Health Organisation claims: “Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person – the gift of life.”
Your blood donation is separated into its components, the red cells, the platelets and the plasma, to help many individuals with different specific conditions.
It is not just the person involved in an accident or surgical procedures. Blood and blood products are used for many diseases and illnesses, including complications during childbirth, children with severe anaemia, cancer patients, and more.
According to the Give Blood website, 67% went to treat anaemia, cancer and blood disorders, 27% is used in surgery, particularly cardiac and emergency operations and 6% used for blood loss in childbirth.
Therefore, there is an obvious need for a constant supply of blood, as none of the daily requirements for blood takes into consideration extreme events or high-injury situations. Blood supplies can only be stored for a limited time, and the number of people requiring transfusions often outstrips supply.
What happens when you donate?
You may be reluctant to donate because of the fear of the unknown. You may fear needles or believe it might hurt. Here’s an insight into the process of donating blood.
When you arrive, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire that takes a history of your health. These questions begin the process of making sure your donation is safe for other people. If your answers allow you to progress, you will then have a finger-prick blood test. The blood is dropped into a solution that indicates to the nurse whether you are anaemic or not. If you are healthy, then you will proceed to donation. You may be asked to undertake a full blood test if the blood drop sinks. If you are anaemic, you will be advised on whether you need to go to the GP or not.
When you donate, you will be asked to lie on a bed. You will then have a small needle inserted into your arm. Your nurse may be looking after a few beds, but she is also paying attention to you and your reaction during donation. The amount of blood taken is entirely safe, and you will feel fine when finished. You will be asked to stay for tea and biscuits after donation, to make doubly sure that your reaction remains positive.
This is a simple message from our team today. At some point in your life, you will be thankful that someone spent a lunch hour or popped in after work to donate.
Everyone donates for different reasons, to help others, to get a free blood test, or to pay forward for a time when you need help. It doesn’t matter, as long as you give blood.