How To Give Blood
10,000 litres of blood are needed by UK hospitals everyday. That's why giving blood could be one of the most important things you ever do. Find out how you could save a life by giving blood.
Step 1: Finding a donation centre
First things first – If you've decided you want to give blood you need to find your local blood donation centre. You can do this either by calling 0845 7 711 711 or logging on to www.blood.co.uk. You can either drop in or contact them in advance to make an appointment if you're short of time.
Step 2: Registering
Fill in your registration form. Before you can actually part with any of your precious haemoglobin you will need to give the blood service a few of your personal details. You can fill in the form online when booking an appointment or you can fill it in at the blood donation centre.
Step 3: Arriving at the centre
Before going to donate it's important you remember to have something to eat and drink. When you arrive you will be asked to read the guidelines before having a confidential discussion with the nurse about your medical history. This to make sure it's safe for you to give blood and only takes place on your first visit. They will also take a tiny amount of blood from you finger tip to make sure you're not at risk of being anaemic. Then you're ready to give blood.
Step 4: Giving blood
The process of giving blood normally takes up to 15 minutes First they'll check your blood pressure then clean the area around your vein with anti-bacterial wipes. The nurses are highly trained and most people hardly feel a thing. Your donation will be 470ml which is just under a pint and is quickly replaced by your body.
Step 5: Recovery
Now the hard part's over it's time to relax for 15 minutes or so and enjoy tea, biscuits and a chat to the nurses and other donors. This gives you some time to make sure you're not feeling light headed and replace your fluids. You will also be given a card giving you advice on the do's and don'ts of the first couple of hours after giving blood.
And that's it. You've just joined the 5% of the British population who've taken a short time out of their day to help save someone's life.