I made my 21st blood donation on the 8th August.
I was a late starter, and like a lot of people I thought about it for years but didn’t do anything. I made lots of excuses, when I was younger I told myself that my lifestyle (excessive drinking, hard partying etc) meant that they wouldn’t want my blood, then as I got older it was just something I never seemed to get around to.
My Father was a blood donor, I have no idea how many donations he racked up but I found an old donor card of his whilst sorting through some old boxes.
This Certificate is granted in recognition of the fact that Mr D Griffiths gave blood for the benefit of others.
It seems obvious what the benefits are to other people when you donate blood, put simply you’re saving lives. The catalyst for me to stop thinking and start doing was when I started working for City Link (remember them?). As an Account Manager, on the road, I did a lot of miles in my car. The more I drove the more often I saw accidents on the road, and I remember looking at them as I drove past and thinking ‘there but for the grace of God….’
Like everyone else, the one thing I didn’t worry about was the availability of blood if I were ever to be in an accident – there’s always enough right? Wrong! The NHS needs 6,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in need across England. They need approximately 200,000 new donors every year, as some donors can no longer give blood and around half of current donors are over 45 (that’s me!), which means that the NHS need more young people (over the age of 17) to start giving blood, so they can make sure they have enough blood in the future.
Did you know that giving blood can also improve your own health? (text reproduced from here)
IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
Donating blood improves your overall cardiovascular health. Increased level of iron in the blood raises the chance of heart disease. Regularly donating blood helps males in particular to reduce the amount of iron in the blood. This can reduce the chance of heart attack by 88%. Additionally, regular blood donation can lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke by 33%.
ENHANCES THE PRODUCTION OF NEW BLOOD CELLS
When blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood. New cells are produced by marrow within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one to two months. Therefore, donating blood helps to stimulate the production of new blood cells. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently.
Donating blood on a regular basis can also improve fitness. Donating one pint of blood (450 ml) burns 650 calories in donor’s body.
ENHANCES FEELING OF WELL BEING IN ELDERLY PEOPLE
Many elderly people who are in good health have reported feeling invigorated and reenergized by giving blood on a regular basis.
REDUCES CANCER RISK
Give blood to help lower your risk of cancer. According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks of cancers, including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers. Risk levels drop in correlation with how often participants donate blood.
FREE HEALTH SCREENING DONE
In addition to all of these benefits, a donor receives a free prior health screening plus mini blood test. The NHS tests for Syphilis, Hepatitis B virus, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis E Virus and Human T-lymphotropic virus (this is on your first donation and then selected subsequent donations)
It doesn’t hurt, just a small prick, and it doesn’t take long. (I’m usually in and out within about 40 mins)
You get a text after every donation letting you know where you’re blood has gone, my blood has travelled around the UK more than I have.
And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you to sign up – I’ve saved the best for last.
FREE MINI CHEDDARS!
Let me say that again
YOU GET FREE MINI CHEDDARS!
So get online/on the phone now and sign up, if you can give blood you should.