Advice

Why You Should Give Blood

May 15, 2016

So along with running a half marathon this week, I got my travel jabs and I gave blood. All that kind of explains why I've felt a little exhausted these past couple of days, but it's the latter I'm most proud of. I did a good deed. I saved lives. Basically, I'm a hero! Jokes aside, you should find time to give blood. If you can donate, you should donate. It's a lifeline to someone in an emergency, and there are so many people alive and well today that wouldn't be without the help of somebody's generously donated blood. Around half of the current donors are over 45, which means they desperately need more young people to give blood to ensure that there's enough available in the future. 

Give Blood - Flash Anthology2
I thought for a long time about giving blood and often shrugged it off, always adamant I was too squeamish to follow it through, though in awe of regular donors. I'm that squeamish that I'm vegetarian, so psyching myself up to voluntarily sit there and watch blood pump out of my body was no easy feat. On the day of my appointment, I got super het up and cried inconsolably to Ed on the phone on the way there. I wanted to do it so much that it's made me really emotional. At the donation centre, the nurses were so unbelievably lovely and made me feel so much better. When it's your first time donating, you have to read various leaflets, sign forms, and have a pinprick finger test to check your iron levels are high enough. Before I knew it though, I was in the chair, the needle was in, and blood was pumping it's way into the bag. A whole pint sounds like a lot, but it's not like can notice it going out. I mean, you really can't feel a thing. You're in a reclined position and you're encouraged to cross and uncross your legs to reduce lightheadedness afterwards. Less than 10 minutes later, we're done, and I'm smiling from ear to ear. I've actually done it. The nurse keeps telling me "you're a hero", and I'm like, "I kind of am, actually" (along with all the others who generous donate their blood).
Give Blood - Flash Anthology4

  She told me that one pint can save up to 3 adults or 7 babies. 

That's madness. Why haven't I done this sooner? Why doesn't everyone do this? Okay, things went a little downhill here — literally — as I passed out twice sat at the tea and biscuits station. Whoops! Lightheadedness got the better of me (either that, or I'm not used to the high-sugar content of the macaron I'm given!) and though this doesn't usually happen, it is more common in first timers. All of the other donors look totally chirpy and unfazed by what they've just done, so it definitely only happens to an unlucky minority! The nurses were so amazing though and I felt embarrassed and like such a diva, but later, came to the conclusion that it was most likely because I was actually dehydrated/ not yet recovered from Sunday's HOT half marathon. Which in hindsight, makes a lot of sense, and I probably picked a bad day. But that's not the point, and it doesn't really matter. I did it. I've done it. And I'll do it again because it saves people's lives. And what's a little lightheadedness in the scheme of things? 

Guys, do it. Donate blood. If you're over 17 and over 50kg, you can give blood and save someone's life (and if you're unsure, you can check eligibility here). The NHS need over 6000 people to donate blood each day to support the needs of the hospitals, so stand up and be one of them.

It was Sophie who really inspired me to do it, so hopefully this is me passing on the baton.

Book your appointment now

Leave a Reply