This week marks National Blood Week, and to coincide with it, NHS Blood and Transplant have launched its new #ImThere campaign. The idea is simple but really powerful – when you give blood, you can save someone’s life whilst going about yours.
So why should you give blood? We’ve compiled 10 reasons which will hopefully encourage you to do something great.
Help save lives
It might seem obvious, but the fact that your blood can help save lives is the number one reason to register to donate blood today. 6,000 blood donations are required every day to help save the lives of those in need. Each donation has the power to save up to three adults or six children; all while you’re going about your day to day life.
You might have a rare blood type
In the UK, there is a need for 200,000 new donors every year to maintain life-saving blood supplies for people in vital need. After your first donation you will receive a letter to find out your blood type. You might find out that you are O negative which can be given to anyone in an emergency, or another rare blood type which is much needed.
And you could help patients with particular conditions
As our country is ethnically diverse, it's important that donors come from diverse backgrounds too. At the moment, there is an urgent need for 40,000 new black donors to come forward to help improve the lives of the 15,000 people living in England with Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition most common in black people that causes extreme pain, life-threatening infections, and other complications such as stroke or loss of vision. Sickle cell patients often require life-saving blood from black donors, who can provide the closest match to their own.
But there is also a need for younger donors
Currently over half of those who donate blood are over the age of 45, so to help safeguard future blood stocks, the more people aged 17-45 that donate, the more lives that can continue to be saved.
It’s a simple thing to do
From registration to donation, the whole process is really simple. You can visit www.blood.co.uk to check if you’re eligible to give blood, register as a donor and book an appointment today.
Which doesn’t take much time at all
NHS Blood and Transplant aims to ensure that your blood donation journey lasts no more than one hour from your planned arrival time. The donation itself is really quick and will usually take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.
One day you might need it
Blood can be vital for people with medical conditions such as anaemia, cancer, blood disorders or those having surgery. But blood transfusions can also improve the quality of life for people whose illness has no cure. You never know, some day you may be in need.
And it doesn’t really hurt
While there may be some initial discomfort on needle insertion, this should quickly resolve and the rest of the donation be pain-free. Once donors have completed their first donation, they are usually comfortable with the blood donation process as they know what to expect.
You’ll feel good about it afterwards
What better gift to give someone than the gift of life? If you register your mobile number, you will receive a text message once your blood has been used so you can go to bed that evening knowing you’ve done your bit to help those in need.
And you’ll even get a biscuit or two
A selection of drinks and snacks are available at the refreshment table once you’ve completed your donation. It’s important to have something to drink and eat after you give blood, and the post-donation biscuits can’t be beaten! Around 6 million biscuits are eaten by donors every year.
If you’d like to find out more and sign up to be a blood donor – simply go to www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23