I gave blood for the first ever time today and feel like a hero for doing it! In the UK you are able to donate blood from the age of 17 and being 19 I feel bad I haven’t done it sooner; it was my friend who suggested it and I am so happy with myself for going through with it. After going through it once I will happily go and do it again; you are able to give blood up to 3 times a year if you are applicable. It’s a great cause and everyone who is able should give blood at least once (even if it is just for the free biscuits at the end) One of the scariest things for me was not knowing what was going to happen so I thought it would be a good idea to give you all (if you haven’t done it before) a little run down of how it works. I’m even scared of needles and I was able to do it…I just looked away the entire time.
If you are interested in giving blood the first thing to do is go on the NHS, Blood website which will help you find a donation near you and help you make an appointment (link below).
Once you are there you will fill in a form, be told to have a glass of water then you go through to a separate screening room where you just get asked for personal questions (just about past travelling and surgery’s). You will also have a drop of blood taken to test for your blood iron levels but it’s only a drop so it’s easy peasy! From there you are taken to a bed where the blood will be taken; be careful not to fall asleep as I nearly did. As a first time donor I was pretty nervous but all of the nurses were so nice and helpful to make me feel as comfortable as I could be. Your arm is cleaned then the needle is put it; all it feels like is a sharp scratch or like you are having a big injection. The pain is brief and then you are left for 6 – 10 minutes for the blood to draw; it’s an odd sensation but definitely not painful and then that’s it! Bish bash bosh! After the needle is taken out, a plaster is put over where the needle was and you are off to enjoy some juice, tea, coffee and lovely biscuits.
As you leave you are given lots of helpful information on what to do after given blood, possible side effects and how giving blood is so beneficial. For the kindness and helpfulness of all the workers there helped me through it and left me feeling eager to do it again. So please if you can give blood! I hope by telling you how easy the process is it will give you confidence to do it yourself. Its helps save so many lives and it’s so easy to do. Thank you so much for ready, Hann xxx