I first gave blood a few years ago before I had the children. I had no real reason for doing so, I just wanted to do it as I was healthy and knew that blood is a much needed commodity and not enough people do it. I discovered when I gave blood that my blood group is B negative, one of the rarer ones – approximately only 2% of the population have that type, so even more of a reason to do it. Since then I’ve been pregnant and had 2 children so there hasn’t really been time to fit it in but recently I decided now was the time to give blood again. I’m motivated this time because my Dad recently had a hospital stay which warranted him needing 3 bags of blood. It jogged my memory to book an appointment.
So I went along today and here’s what happened, in case you need some reassurance about how simple and easy it is!
I made an appointment online and I'm glad I did as they were very busy there today and had stopped accepting drop ins as they wouldn't have had enough time to get through everyone. Don't let this give you the impression that there are enough people giving blood though! On arrival I confirmed my details and was asked to drink 500ml of water. I did as I was told and waited till I was called. Once my name was called I saw a nurse to have a finger prick test and again confirm my details and the answers to questions about my health. I then waited another 5 minutes before being called to one of the beds to get set for the blood donation. The nurse gave my arm a good clean and then inserted the needle and I will admit that there was a slight sting but once it was in it couldn't be felt. I read my book for about 8 minutes and that was it, bag filled with blood, I'm given a nice big plaster and sent off to have a drink and a few crisps and biscuits. It was a nice atmosphere, there was music playing and the nurses were all really friendly. I will definitely be doing it again and here is a picture of me with a smile on my face to prove that it really is a painless procedure:
It really is such a simple procedure and I’d really encourage you to think about going to do it, it doesn’t take up much time (I was in and out in an hour) and think of the lives you’ll help to save. I know the thought makes some people feel squeamish and blood is one of those funny things that no one really likes to see but if you can get past that feeling then do it! I remember being nervous the first time but now having had two children I feel used to being prodded and poked. And remember I could still smile while I had it done.
To find out how to give blood go to http://www.blood.co.uk/