I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

national blood week


I didn’t know, until I received an email today, that this week is National Blood Week.  I’ve donated 52 units (they used to say pints, but it’s slightly less than that now) and am lucky that I can give without any difficulty – easy to find veins and no tendency to fainting – so I feel that I should give as much as I can.

The email I received is urging donors to ‘spread the word’, so I am. Here it is:

Did you know that we supply hospitals with around 7,000 units of blood every day?  Or that, in order to continue to meet that demand, we must recruit nearly 200,000 new donors every year?

As a valued blood donor yourself, there’s a good chance that you did know – but we’re willing to be that many of your friends and colleagues don’t!

That’s why this year, as part of our National Blood Week celebrations, we’re asking donors to share these facts with anyone they know who might be interested in blood donation, to help us to continue to recruit the new donors we need.  Facts like:

  • each unit of blood donated is split into its constituent parts, and can save up to three lives
  • the number of regular blood donors had fallen by 23% over the past decade
  • the minimum age for blood donations is 17 years (650,000 people will turn 17 in the next 12 months!)

So if you know someone who you think might be interested in giving blood, please forward this email to them or tell them to visit us at http://www.blood.co.uk

Thanks again for your continued commitment.

I was really surprised to read that the number of donors has fallen – I certainly haven’t noticed a dropping off of numbers when I go.  However, I do know that one thing has changed since I started donating umpteen years ago when I was at college – after making your donation you have to have a drink and a biscuit before you are allowed to leave, and about five years ago they stopped offering my favourite biscuits – Tuc Cheese Sandwich.  It was the only reason I went!  😉

Here’s a clip from an old, nay ancient, Tony Hancock TV sketch called The Blood Donor.  It might amuse you.


9 thoughts on “national blood week

  1. I gave blood once – I took a good number of hours to recover so they said I should leave it a year. It has been a a few years now now but I am not sure about doing it again.
    I am glad you have the bottle, as it were.

  2. I would love to give blood – have written before about my attempts do so, but have never actually managed it yet.

  3. I used to regularly, first in New Zealand then here in The Netherlands, 64 units so far. In recent years though my changes in lung medication have stopped me. I’d like to continue if I could because it’s a really worthwhile thing to do and I’m O negative blood type with means I’m an international Donor (it’s the only blood type that can be given directly to anyone).

    I did a lot of pediatric bags (lots of little bags instead of one big one) in NZ because I worked very close to a hospital and they’d call if they had emergencies.
    Will have to see what the future holds.
    Congratulations on 52 units… and my advice if anyone is considering donating blood, DO IT, it’s really needed and whilst you don’t know specifically who it will go to, you do know you are saving a life. 🙂

    • What a shame that you can’t give any more. Perhaps in future they will have come up with some way of completely ‘cleaning’ blood so that anyone can donate.

      • At the moment the steroids for my lung condition and pain medication for my foot are too much to filter out, it would be brilliant if they could, and I’d be back in a flash.

        I once was called urgent from work and gave blood for a baby in an emergency situation and an ambulance sat waiting in the driveway to take the pediatric bags the few blocks to the hospital. When I finished they were literally running out the door with the bags and I watched out the window as the siren and flashing lights went on as they left down the drive!

        The only thing I knew was that the baby had O neg blood type and someone with O neg like me was the only match, I just happened to be the closest matching O neg person they could bring in. (I think that only 11 people in 100 have O neg and I know we can only receive O negative back)

        I never knew the outcome, but I hope I made a difference.
        Having now had two babies myself who required short stints of intensive care I now realise what that family must have gone though.
        Giving blood was simple for me, but when it comes down to it, it could be life changing for someone else.

  4. 52 pints… that is more than an arm and a leg…

    I love Hancock, he was very funny.

  5. Hancock reminds me of the good old ‘olden’ days. 😉

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