Did you know that only 4% of the population eligible to give blood in the UK actually do. And only 3 out of 100 people in America donate blood.
The simple fact is, giving blood saves lives. The lives of babies, children and adults.
Here is what happens at a donation session in the UK.
It is a simple process that takes about an hour from start to finish.
Step 1. You can register and/or make an appointment online, over the phone or via the post. You will receive confirmation of your appointment time.
Step 2. When you get to your donation session, you will be asked to read the welcome folder and fill out the health check. This consists of very simple, easy to understand questions about your health.
Step 3. Your details are entered into the system and you will be asked to confirm a few of your details.
Step 4. You will be taken to a screened booth for a health check. A blood team member will ask you to confirm a few details. You will be asked to sign a consent form. Everything will be clearly explained by the team member.
Step 5. The team member will need to check your haemoglobin levels to ensure that giving blood will not make you anaemic. This is a simple painless procedure; first, they will wipe the middle finger of your right hand with a sterile wipe. They will then use a “lancet” (a device used for taking small blood samples) to gently prick the finger, they will then gently squeeze the finger. A pipette is then used to take the blood from the finger and put into a copper sulphate tube. If your blood sinks to the bottom of the tube, then you will continue with the donation process. If not, you will be advised of what action to take and invited to a future donation session.
Step 6. You will be taken to a bed to lie down, a cuff (similar to a blood pressure cuff) is placed around your arm on order to find a vein..
Step 7. The team member will clean your arm with a sterile wipe, then insert a sterile needle into your arm. You will feel a small scratch, but that’s all.
Step 8. You will need to lie there for between 20 and 30 minutes. The team member will then remove the needle, apply sterile gauze over the insertion area and ask you to apply pressure to the area for about 2 minutes. You will then be asked to sit up and if you feel dizzy, to lie back down again.
Step 9. After a short rest, you can then go to the refreshment area and have a drink and a snack. You will be given a card to say when you may next donate; you will be sent a letter containing some of your details, including your blood type, within 2 weeks.
This is a pain free process that takes an hour of your time and could literally save someone’s life, please, if you can give blood, give blood.