Start saving lives

A common misconception is that people only need blood transfusions after serious accidents. This isnt 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 were 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. Im 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

Its 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 doesnt 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


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