This week is National Blood Week, including World Blood Donor Day, so today’s blog is a timely reminder of why giving blood is such an important thing to do.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant, we need 5000 daily donations to produce enough supplies to treat patients requiring blood transfusions. That means we need around 135,000 new donors every year in England alone.
Sadly, the covid pandemic of the last two years has seen a dramatic decline in existing and new donors booking in to donate. In fact that rate is down by a whopping 40%.
So here are some great reasons why you should sign up to give blood today:
You’ll be a Life Saver!
- The bottom line is that when you donate blood you play your part in helping to save lives. Blood donations help thousands of seriously ill patients across the country every single day, through emergency operations, C-Sections, cancer treatment and more.
- In fact, every donation you give can actually save or improve the lives of up to three adults or six children. All that for less than an hour of your time!
You Could Have a Rare Blood Type That’s Needed
- We all have different blood types which means that when a patient needs a transplant they will need to receive the same blood type or one that is compatible with theirs.
- O negative blood is known as the universal blood type because it is safe for everyone to receive - and, as a result, if you have 0- blood your donation will be able to help more desperately ill people.
- Some blood groups are rare enough to have very few donors, and this is especially true in the BAME community amongst which there is a very low turnout for donations. Sadly when the need occurs, these supplies will be hard to come by if more donors don’t come forward to help out. In fact, in the UK there is currently only ONE donor from blood type -D-.
- If you sign up to donate blood you might find that your blood is one of the rarer types, meaning that your donation will be incredibly welcome.
Blood Supplies Have a Short Shelf Life
- Not only does the NHS need lots of donors, it needs them to continue to donate because blood supplies cannot be kept indefinitely. In fact, red blood cells can only be stored for 35 days while blood platelets have to be used within 7 days of donation.
- So frequent blood donations will keep the blood banks of the UK topped up - and you can help to make that happen.
Young Blood Rules
- Most donors in the UK are over 45, but did you know that you can donate blood from your 17th birthday? In fact, more young donors are needed to boost the national supplies at the moment. The more we can encourage young donors to get involved, the more secure the future of blood banks will be.
- Not so young anymore? Don’t worry. You can donate blood for the first time right up until your 66th birthday. The sooner you start, the better. Men can donate blood every 12 weeks, while women can donate every 16 weeks (to allow for iron levels to return to normal) so the younger you are when you begin donating blood, the more lives you can save throughout your own life. Now that’s as good a reason as any to register today!
It’s Quicker than you think
- It really doesn’t take long to donate blood. Once you’ve booked an appointment online, it takes less than an hour to give your donation. In fact, the majority of that time is taken up with chatting to the nurse, having a few blood pressure/blood type checks done, filling in a form and waiting your turn. The actual blood donation part can take as little as 5 or 6 minutes! It really is over and done with before you know it.
- Most people find that giving blood is a much more pleasant experience than they had imagined, and to say thank you, you’ll be rewarded with a nice cuppa and even a biscuit at the end.
If you’ve never given blood before you might want to check out or Guide to Giving Blood Blog to find out more about the process.
Need more help? We're always here to help so get in touch today.
For all your Medical and Homecare supplies give us a call at Mediworld.
We have over 40 years experience in medical, surgical, mobility and home health supplies and we're always on hand to chat if you need support or advice and don't forget to read our other great health blogs!