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Give Blood Regularly

Now that you’ve read the title, the text should be of no surprise to you.  Yesterday I gave blood again, this

National Blood Service

National Blood Service

was my twentieth donation and it took me less than an hour.  I’m too much of a scaredy cat to donate bone marrow and I’m not nearly clever enough to be a doctor, so this is what I do to do my bit.

If everyone stopped giving blood now, there is around a week’s worth left.  Just think, one week’s worth of blood in the whole UK.  It costs you nothing, except an hour or so of your time once every 3 or 4 months and you can bask in the glow of having saved a life – who knows, it may be your life at risk without blood stocks.

It should also be noted that the nursing staff are extremely important to any blood drive.  These are the people who draw the blood and can answer all sorts of questions about the process.  They are responsible for making sure it gets from your arm to the transport safely and hygienically.  It needs to be said that, although their job looks simple, it is very valuable and an extremely responsible position. Don’t forget, although the role as we see it doesn’t appear taxing, they will still have attended nursing school to become qualified to do this.

So, go to to find your nearest donation centre and get signed up.

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  1. That is very generous of you. Thank you

  2. Ray says:

    Everyone that can should do it

  3. Good of you to bring this to people’s attention.
    I wish I could donate but unfortunately I tend to faint (low iron levels or something) not because I’m a needle sissy :)
    My brother donates regularly and I think he takes great pride at showing people his red cross membership card :)

  4. Ray says:

    If you can’t give blood, how about plasma? They take the blood out and remove the plasma and then return the blood.

  5. Yeah you had a very nice idea. My husband always donated plasma.

  6. Like the last poster siad. Plasma is also a good idea!

  7. Ray says:

    Blood, plasma and bone marrow – give generously!

  8. i wish i could give blood more often but last time i did it i almost fainted and felt sick for days…(i think im too small, or they at least took too much from me)

  9. I regularly give blood. I don’t see why more people don’t do it, as there is always critical need and people’s lives are at stake! I became available to donate blood again yesterday, so I will be able to give again quite soon.

  10. What do you think about giving blood if you run 80 miles a week? I have considered it but not sure if it would be really unhealthy for me. How do you feel for the few days after giving blood?

  11. Ray says:

    I usually feel fine immediately after giving blood. Give blood, sit for a while drinking coffee and eating biscuits and go home. Don’t do anything too strenuous afterwards (so that 10 mile run may not be a good idea straightaway) but there are no lasting effects. And it’s only 3 or 4 times a year so it shouldn’t eat into your running time too much.

    If you are healthy and can bear to have a needle in your arm for about 10 minutes you have no reason not to give blood.

  12. Well the problem is.. I am scared in the needle. How will I know if I am qualified to give blood?

  13. Ray says:

    Bite down very hard and think good thoughts :) You should speak with your local blood bank (or whatever it is in your area), you’re probably not the first person to want to donate but fears the needle and they are probably able to help with that. To be honest, the pain is almost non-existent: the needle is so sharp that it’s less painful than poking yourself with a pin.

  14. I appreciate what I do. I have tried to donate more than once but my veins are too small of something and they collapse when they try to take that much blood and I also clot quickly. I have sat there for over an hour and still only had half a bag. If they can’t get a whole bag, then it’s useless to them. I have even had problems giving small amounts of blood for tests. I guess it will be good if I ever get injured.

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  15. Good for you! I need to give some blood too.

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  16. Ray says:

    Louise – should you ever find your life turning into a slasher film, you’ll be fine :)

  17. TigerTom says:

    I’m afraid I’m quite squeamish. I hate needles.

  18. Ray says:

    Just close your eyes, clench your teeth and think of England ;)

  19. Bernhard says:

    From time to time I look here by and read the always interesting and well written contributions. Here I would like to leave gladly a greeting from Thuringia in Germany!

  20. I want to donate too but I don’ t think if I am qualified.. also I really hate needles.

  21. What do you think about someone that runs 70-80 miles a week? I have considered giving blood but always though me running so much would cause big problems for me for a few days afterwards…

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  22. Ray says:

    I find that I am fine later that same day, and totally normal by the morning. If you run in the evenings, aim for a morning appointment and vice versa. If you are healthy and have good iron levels and have a common blood group (like me) your blood is very useful to them. And of course, the less rare groups are also valuable!

  23. Love Sac says:

    That is a very generous thing to do. I want to donate too but I don’t think If I am qualified.

  24. Ray says:

    If yu are healthy and have blood in your body you qualify ;)

  25. it’s good of you to bring this to people’s attention. over here, sometimes people almost end up dying for lack of the necessary blood. i’ve attempted to donate blood several times in the past, but i find myself being turned away because of a history of asthma. but will see if i’ll be allowed eventually.

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  26. Ray says:

    If you can’t donate blood, investigate donating plasma. There may be relaxed requirements for donation because they return all but the plasma. As well, this means that you can donate more often.

  27. Ringtones says:

    There is great alternatives to blood in the modern medicine, I’m not going to give my blood. ;(

  28. Alison says:

    Yes, you can use water, or salt water, but nothing beats real blood.

    I “dare” everyone here who isn’t keen on giving blood to get a group of friends together and go. It’s a bit scary giving by yourself, I freaked out the first time I went. (At least in Aus) it’s a good idea to ring up for an appointment if you are going in a group. It’s a fun night out, and they give you free food! You can compete for who gave it the fastest.

    We had some big scaredy-cats give blood successfully.

    They won’t let you give blood if you’re not healthy, there is an interview before you give to check out your medical history, a questionnaire to fill out. You won’t be endangering anyone if you answer truthfully.

    Phone up the relevant authority in your country and ask about it.

    So: Top Tips- go with a friend, or lots of friends! Answer truthfully, and they’ll let you know if you are good to go.

    Any unpleasantness is taken away by the pride you feel on helping someone. If you can’t give, encourage your friends to try.

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  29. Ray says:

    Excellent ideas Alison – thanks

  30. I love giving blood. I can’t wait until I am eligible to go again.

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  31. Is it safe? I want to donate blood too but kinda worry about the side effects of doing that.

  32. Ray says:

    What side effects? Very very slight light headedness, less than you’d get if you stood up too quickly. It really is perfectly safe if you are a fairly healthy person. Put it this way, I am unfit and probably overweight and I have no issues whatsoever.

  33. That is kinda interesting! I want to go to the clinic and have a check up If I am qualified to donate blood.

  34. Ray says:

    Nice one – at least you’ll know and have the option of what to do next. If you can’t give blood, see if there are other things you can do.

  35. It has been on my to do list for ages so should really start donating blood. Like you said it only takes an hour or so and is it a great way to help others.

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  36. A very noble act you did, your blood donation is a great help to the people

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  37. What you did is really great! Nowadays, it’s hard to find people like you who cares for others.

  38. I really like what you did. It’s always fun to help other people.

  39. Another thing people need to know is whether or not they are CMV negative (CMV-). CMV stands for cytomegalo virus, a sort of fule-like virus that most people who have been exposed to. If you have not, you are probably CMV-. CMV- blood is the only blood that can be used in infants under 3 months old and for people with immune disorders.

    The only reason I know this is because the Blood and Tissue Center in Austin called one day askime to PLEASE come in and donate. They rushed me ahead of everyone else and pratically threw the donated blood into a waiting vehicle. There was an infant in dire need of CMV- blood and I provided it. Not only was that a great feeling, but it made me realize that I need to donate as often as I can.

    If you have donated before, call the place where you donated and ask if you are CMV-. If you are, get in and donate every 8 weeks.

  40. Ray says:

    I had never heard of that – thanks for the tip!

  41. I have to agree wholeheartedly. I nearly lost a child for lack of blood many years ago. Thank you for encouraging others to do so.

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  42. I want to give blood regularly, but i keep putting it off. I’ve had some bad experiences with needles in the past and those past experiences is preventing me from donating. I’ll get over it eventually though.

  43. Movers says:

    This is a great job you are doing. I appreciate it a lot when someone donates blood. It not only saves thousands of people’s lives, it also shows that we are HUMANE in nature. Hats off to those who donates blood in a regular basis. But be careful while donating blood, don’t risk your own body.

    • Ray says:

      Giving blood is the simplest and most pain free way to help others medically that I can think of. The UK Blood Service has an excellent safety record – lots of disinfecting before the needle even goes in (they scrub the inside of your elbow for 30 seconds with a sterile and anti-bacterial sponge) so I have no worries at all.

      By the way Movers, there’s a lot of Lorem Ipsum on your state pages – is that intentional or a clean up job that needs doing?

  44. I used to give blood all the time untill i had food poisoning from a resturant. Someone i know at red cross told me i can not give blood anymore. Make sure to eat a few hours before and maybe have a cookie with you for after.

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    • Ray says:

      I usually book my sessions for either lunchtime or after work. In the UK, we’re provided with hot and cold drinks and biscuits and crisps for the rest period after donating.

  45. CNA Training says:

    Thanks for sharing this and bringing this important topic to everybody's attention. We have to realize that some day we may also need blood from others .. so pls donate blood generously.
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