People donate blood for a number of reasons. Perhaps they were asked by a friend, they themselves may once have been in a position where they needed blood or because a friend or family member, at any moment, could be in that same position. No matter the reason, giving blood is one the easiest ways to know you’ve helped to change a life.
The journey to giving blood is simple, painless, takes little time, and you’ll have plenty of blood left over.
All it takes to donate is to visit online at the ScotBlood site and register to be a blood donor. To become a blood donor, you must be aged between 17 and 66 years old, be in good health and weigh more than 7 stone.
Once signed up, you are then able to book an appointment. Giving blood takes just over five minutes and is followed by refreshments; meaning that your day is filled with making a difference and being rewarded with free snacks.
After donation, the blood is taken directly to the nearest processing and testing laboratories, where it is then sent to one of 36 blood banks across the country. The donated blood is split into several components, to be given to different patients for their specific needs. This means that your donated blood could be used to help multiple people in need.
Donated blood is used to provide essential and often emergency care to people with a variety of needs. Blood is often used to treat those with severe trauma after man-made and natural disasters. It can be used for women with complications from pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and haemorrhages before, during or after childbirth. Blood donations can also be used to treat children with severe anaemia and is used to make products such as clotting factors for people with haemophilia.
In 2014, 67% of blood donated was used to treat conditions such as anaemia, cancer and blood disorders. 27% was used in surgery and 6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth.
Blood is precious and perishable and there will always be a need to replenish supplies.
Every day, over 6,000 donations are needed in order to maintain a regular supply of all blood groups and types. This ensures that there is always blood ready to treat people in emergencies and those undergoing long-term treatments. As some rare blood sub-types are more common in minority communities, there is a constant need to recruit more blood donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.
There is a constant need for regular blood supply as blood can only be stored for a limited amount of time. Donations from a sufficient number of healthy people are essential to ensure safe blood is on hand when it is needed.
Giving blood means giving the gift of life. By donating blood, several patients could be benefiting in life-altering ways. It is an invaluable means of giving back and helping those in the direst of circumstances.
Visit scotblood.co.uk to register to donate and book your appointment. The Blood Centre is located at 41 Lauriston Place and is open every day, except Sunday.
No one wants to be in the position where they are in need of blood but by donating yours, a life is able to continue and improve. There is little that feels better than knowing that an action of yours will have such momentous and significant consequences.
image: rud0070 via Pixabay