This week is National Blood Week so I thought i'd do a little post to show my support as it's a cause i've become really passionate about recently. I'm sure you probably know that i'm a blood donor and I gave my fifth pint on Friday. To be honest the decision to give blood wasn't really inspired by anything in particular; i'd seen posters and banners around my village advertising sessions and always wondered what it was like. I went to a show just before my 17th birthday and there was a stand where you could sign up, I was with two friends at the time so we all thought we'd sign up; we didn't really have any reason not to! A few weeks later I got a phone call from the blood service and made an appointment for a session and two weeks later I donated my first pint of blood.
A lot of people think giving blood will hurt; i'm not going to lie that's exactly what I thought before I started donating. They obviously have to use a needle to get the blood out and you do feel it but it's not painful and you get used to it the more times you donate. The staff who take your blood are always really helpful and friendly so you always feel like you're in safe hands. If you're prone to fainting then it 's worthwhile letting them know as some people do faint after giving blood. Thankfully i've never fainted before and I feel fine afterwards. I'd really recommend donating in the evening or afternoon if you can as you will have eaten and had lots to drink which will make you less likely to feel the effects. Before you donate blood you're given a glass of water or juice which you're encouraged to drink. I do feel tired a few hours after donating and sometimes the day after so make sure you get plenty of rest and don't have anything that is hard work planned (I just use it as an excuse to be lazy the day after!)
The feeling afterwards is so satisfying and it definitely inspires me to continue donating. With giving blood I think once you've done it once you're a lot more likely to continue which is why I always encourage people to go at least go once.
You can give blood three times a year which works out at 3 hours a year. Donated blood is needed every three seconds, and it only takes a few minutes of your time to give blood. Why wouldn't you spare an hour every four months to save a few lives?
It's also worth mentioning that there are places all over the country where you can donate so i'm sure there will be one close by for everyone. You don't have to make an appointment if you don't know what time you'll be free so you can just drop in at a session if it's easier. You must be 17 or older to donate and i'd really recommend going through these questions first to see if you're eligible to donate.
In the past few weeks Alice has raised awareness of Bone Marrow Donation and in order to do this you have to be a blood donor so it's really worthwhile. I think i've written enough but this article pretty much says it like it is and I would definitely recommend reading it if you're thinking of becoming a blood donor.
One donation can save the lives of 3 people or 7 babies.
Do something amazing and consider giving blood.