Start saving lives
A common misconception is that people only need blood transfusions after serious
accidents. This isn’t true. Blood donations are actually used frequently in
surgery, for cancer treatment and to care for new mums and babies. Much more
than you thought, right?
Blood donations can only be stored for a limited amount of time, therefore a
constant supply is crucial to ensure blood is available wherever and whenever it
is needed. The good news is you can help. To meet this high demand, NHS Blood
and Transplant has to recruit 200,000 new blood donors every year, and we’re
asking you to be one of them.
Each blood donation can help up to three people, and as you can donate up to
four times a year, imagine how many people you could help in your lifetime!
Signing up to the blood donor register only takes a couple of minutes, and you
can even make your first donation appointment on the spot.
It takes on average 10 minutes to give a blood donation, but you need to allow
an hour for the whole process from start to finish. So you could be saving lives
during your lunch break at work, between lectures, or as a break from all the
time you spend in the library...
So, we've eliminated the issue of time. Now to address arguably the most common
excuse used for not giving blood- the pain!
The pain experienced when giving blood is no more than a needle prick. The
trained professionals at the blood centres are there to ensure your experience
is pleasant – you even get a biscuit afterwards. I’m sure some of you are
reading this thinking, ‘no more than a needle prick?!' Many of us are terrified
of needles, and yes I say us, as most people feel anxious or scared when giving
blood for the first time or even the tenth. It is perfectly normal to feel
anxious. However, it is a momentary discomfort for a greater good. Saving lives!
40% of new blood donors every year already fall into the 17-24 age bracket, so
join the movement and give the most precious gift you can – the gift of life.
The Importance of Blood Types
It’s imperative that the right type of blood in the right quantities are
collected to meet the demands of hospitals. Your blood group is determined by
the genes inherited from your parents, the four main ones being A, B, AB and O,
and it doesn’t stop there. As you can be either RhD positive or RhD negative
this means your blood group can be one of 8 types.
Blood groups are identified by proteins on our red cells (antigens) in the
blood. Getting blood from the wrong ABO group is life threatening, as if you are
blood type A your antibodies will attack group B antigens and vice versa. Group
O RhD negative blood does not contain A or B or RhD antigens so is therefore
universal and can be used for any other group. As you can imagine demand for
this blood type is particularly high.
Find out more about blood types here
This article published on
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