For a long time, I have wanted to donate blood and in August 2019 I finally registered myself as a blood donor. I was made aware of donating blood when I was quite young as my dad and granddad have done it for a long time.
There are many reasons why donating blood is important. For example, my mum has had various health problems since I was about 10 years old. She was forever going to the doctors with joint pain, chest infections and pneumonia. They told her it may be an autoimmune disease called Lupus and that there is a possibility of her needing a blood transfusion in the future. I know this sounds quite depressing but luckily my mum has been healthy and happy for a while now and we hope that she keeps it up!
There are lots of other people who need blood transfusions for various reasons such as diseases and to replace blood lost during major surgery, childbirth or a severe accident. You can read more about people’s amazing stories here. I hope that you understand just how important blood donations are.
My first donation was at Birmingham New Street. Before I could donate, I had to fill out a short survey to make sure that there are no reasons why my blood can’t be used in a transfusion. When I arrived at the donation centre, I had to be tested by a nurse prior to undergoing the donation. She took me aside and pricked my finger to test my blood. She also asked me what I had eaten that day, and asked what my age, height and weight is. Provided that I met the requirements, I was able to donate that day.
The staff were very nice and there was a television to watch while sitting in a comfy chair. A nurse sterilised my arm before inserting a needle to draw the blood. While the blood was being drawn from my arm it was important to keep clenching and stretching my fist and she told me to cross and uncross my legs or to clench my butt cheeks in order to keep the blood flowing around my body and to prevent myself from feeling faint.
Before I knew it, the donation was over and I was offered some snacks and a rest. You are advised not to exercise on the day of your donation, to eat a lot of carbs/food, and not to drink alcohol the night before. After your donation of 470ml, your body will replace the lost blood over a number of weeks.
To reward blood donors for their time and donations, they are given gifts and acknowledgements. The gifts and acknowledgements vary depending on how many times the person has donated.
To check that you can donate blood you can follow this link.
I hope to see you at the donation centre soon!