So on Thursday afternoon I popped over to the car park at work and gave blood. It only took an hour of my time and that means I may have saved a life today. My blood group is B+, I was given a badge to prove it. Only 9.2% of the Scottish population share my blood type, and only 6% of people in Scotland who are eligible to donate actually do. This means out of the 5.3 million people in Scotland, only 491,979 people share my blood type, and less that 29,500 actually donate blood.
Yesterday was only my second time giving blood, I first gave blood last July and I was surprised at how easy it was. I had a quick questionnaire to fill out, and was then taking into an exam room where they take a drop of blood from your finger to check your haemoglobin levels to make sure it’s safe for you to donate. As long as your haemoglobin levels are over a certain level you go into a ward type area and lie back on a reclining chair where a nurse will set you up for donation. It only takes 10-15 minutes to donate a unit of blood, the needle is then removed and once you’ve put a little pressure on the area, they’ll check you’re okay and then you get to go to a waiting area where they’ll make you a cup of tea and give you a snack, I took a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer, can’t be beaten in my eyes. They encourage you to sit for as long as you like until you’re ready to leave. Both my experiences, both at the Edinburgh donor centre and on the van, have been fantastic. The nurses are lovely and the donor carers sit with you, making sure you’re okay while you’re donating, and having a chat, so even if you’re a bit nervous they’re there to keep you occupied.
I would encourage anyone to take a look at the eligibility criteria, it differs a bit in each of the home nations and if you can donate please do. You never know when you or someone you care about might be the one in need.
Blood Donation Websites