Today is World Blood Donor Day.
Now, probably more than ever, if we can, we need to do our bit and donate a pint of blood . . .Yes! Almost an armful!
The day aims to educate us all about the importance of giving blood, and also to say thanks to those who donate.
The focus of this year’s campaign is “safe blood saves lives” and “give blood and make the world a healthier place”.
Who can give blood?
There are variations across the UK, so it’s always worth checking. There are websites to advise — try Scotblood, for example.
NHS Blood And Transplant covers all questions, too.
Some facts about blood donations
Blood and blood products are essential to care for:
- women with pregnancy and childbirth associated bleeding;
- children with severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition;
- patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions;
- people with traumatic injuries in emergencies, disasters and accidents; and
- patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures.
I’m a regular blood donor, and I’m lucky enough to be O-, which means my blood can be given to absolutely anyone.
It always makes me feel quite emotional to know that just three teaspoonfuls of blood can save a newborn baby’s life.
Donating blood couldn’t be easier, especially now an appointment system is in place.
Can I give blood during the pandemic?
As long as you are well and not suffering from any illness, and have not been in contact with anyone suffering from Covid 19 then yes.
You will be questioned thoroughly when you arrive, though.
It was my turn to donate blood just last week, and it’s pretty much business as usual. Social distancing is observed, but you still get a cup of fruit juice and a chocolate biscuit when you’re finished.
My donating centre is in a beautiful church, so relaxing for 15 minutes while looking at the beautiful windows and ornate carvings is very enjoyable!
You also get to know the NHS staff after many visits, and it’s lovely to catch up with them.
- The word “blood” appears at least once in every play by Shakespeare.
- The amount of blood in a pregnant woman’s body will have increased by 50% by the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Our blood contains around 0.2 milligrams of gold.
- There has been an example of blood becoming a dark green colour. Surgeons operating on a 42-year-old Canadian man got a shock when they discovered dark green blood coursing through his arteries, like Star Trek‘s Mr Spock. It’s thought this was caused by of a type of migraine medication.
For more information on World Blood Donor Day, click here.
For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.