Have you ever considered giving blood? Or been along to a donor centre and changed your mind at the last minute, scared of the unknown?
Every day in England over 6,000 blood donations are needed to treat patients in need, with a staggering 200,000 new donors required every year. As blood can only be stored for a limited time before use, there is a constant need for fresh safe blood supplies, which is where you come in!
Donating blood is quick and simple and usually takes around 5 to 10 minutes to complete. The act of giving blood not only makes you feel fantastic, as your donation can go on to save lives, but there are also many hidden health benefits for the donor too.
What are the health benefits of giving blood?
Reducing the risk of cancer and heart attacks - Findings have shown that the act of donating blood reduces the risk of heart attacks and even cancer by maintaining a healthy level of iron in the body.
Stimulates blood cell production – When you give blood you lose red blood cells and the body works to replace them. This process of producing new blood cells helps in maintaining good health.
It burns calories - As the body must replenish all of its blood volume within 48 hours, The University of California in San Diego estimate that for every pint given, 650 calories are burned.
Aside from all these health benefits, your donation can go on to saves lives – whether it’s used for an emergency treatment or for a patient requiring long-term treatment. Many people would not be alive today without the generous blood donations given every day.
So who can give blood?
The NHS stipulate you can give blood if you are fit and healthy, weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs and 25 stone (or 50kg and 160kg) and are aged between 17 and 66. Before giving blood, you are also asked to complete a health and eligibility questionnaire to find out whether any health conditions, medication, the nature of your profession or any recent foreign travel might prevent you giving blood permanently, or for a defined period. Women can give blood every 16 weeks and men every 12 weeks.
How can you register to donate?
As the World Health Organisation articulate so well, “blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life.” So what’s stopping you? Register to become a donor today and start benefiting from the all round great feeling it gives you.
Please click on the links below, thank you.
World Health Organisation - World Blood Donor Day 2018
NHS Blood & Transplant
Welsh Blood Service
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service
Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service