The musings of a fourth year English medical student

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Give Blood

Today I gave blood and it's something I really hope more people start doing. As I looked around I noticed I was probably the only person there under 25 donating. Why is this? Anyone 17 or over can donate (who aren't underweight) and  more people need to do it!

I wouldn't say I have a high pain threshold, I'm just average. But I'm not scared of needles, so when I turned 17 it seemed obvious that I should donate when it could potentially make such a difference to someone else.

When you give blood, you can walk in without prior registration and fill in the forms then and there. They'll check where you've travelled/piercings/certain diseases/sexual activity that could transmit disease. They do a pin prick blood test first to check for iron levels and your blood pressure is taken. If that's all good, you get put onto a swing-back chair that reclines so you can relax whilst the blood is taken. A needle is inserted into a vein and taped down securely. It takes only 10 minutes to collect the blood. Then you sit down for a few minutes and have free refreshments and chocolates/biscuits.

I really enjoy giving blood because everyone so friendly and you get chatting to your locals. In my experience, blood tests and blood donation are painless in comparison to normal vaccinations and BCGs. These vaccinations can feel sharp, hot and stingy. Blood donation isn't like that at all, it is much more comfortable. If you're alright with vaccinations then you should totally fine with blood donations.

The website www.blood.co.uk was LOADS of info so you can check if you're eligible, you can check closest donation centres in your area and book your own slot for donation.

Hope everyone had a great Easter.

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