Blood And Its Uses
Blood And Its Uses
Sophie Spiegler (National Blood Service PR ) gives expert video advice on: What happens to my blood once I have donated?; Is some blood used for research?; What are the different blood types? and more...
What happens to my blood once I have donated?
Once you have donated your blood it will go to our blood banks where it's going to undergo rigorous tests. Safety tests such as searching for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. This is all to insure the safety of the blood going on to the patient.
Is some blood used for research?
It's very rare that the blood that people donate is used for research. The majority of blood that's donated is used to help those who need it, such as people that have been in major car accidents and have lost a lot of blood or those that have severe anaemia. There's several reasons why people need blood. We don't use it for research very often at all.
What are the different blood types?
There are many different blood types in peoples' bodies. If you want to have a little bit more of an in-depth look, take a look at our website. We also like to encourage people from all different cultures and ethnicities to come forward in order to represent all the different blood types within people.
What happens if someone is given the wrong blood type?
It is very rare that somebody is given the wrong blood type in a hospital. There are numerous amounts of checks that happen before blood reaches a patient. In the very, very unlikely circumstance that it does happen, there is no set reaction from a person's body.
How do you make sure people get the right blood type?
There are rigorous checks that happen from the blood banks to the patient in order to get the blood needed where it is. Numerous amounts of checks will happen right from the start, right until the end. There is also now the NPSA, which is National Patient Safety Agency who at the moment are running a campaign called Transfusion Awareness, which is increasing the amount of safety to make sure that people do get the correct blood.
What is platelet donation?
Platelets are a component that are found in our blood and our bodies, and are essential to stop bleeding. They help blood to clot, so if you cut yourself for example, they'll help yourself to stop bleeding. For your eligibility to become a platelet donor, please have a look at our website, and they will be able to get you some more information.
What are the most common uses for blood?
The most common uses for blood are for people who, for example, have anaemia or people who have had severe blood loss. this could be if they have had an accident perhaps, or if somebody's giving birth and they've lost a lot of blood as well, and especially for people who have cancer and are going through chemotherapy. They will certainly need to receive blood.
How much blood is needed per year?
To give you an idea, we collected 2.1 million units of blood last year. We also need on average 10,000 units of blood each and every day to meet the demands of hospitals in England and North Wales.
What is the current state of blood stocks in the UK?
The current state of blood stocks in the UK is healthy, but as the components of blood have a very short shelf life, such as platelets, they only last for five days. We do need regular donors to come forward each and every day in order to keep those blood stocks healthy. You'd probably be quite shocked to know that only 5 % of the eligible population do actually give blood and are on the blood donor register, so we are constantly appealing for new blood donors to come forward to give blood in order to keep those blood stocks healthy everyday, so that when blood is needed, it is available.
Is there a shortage of any particular type of blood?
At present, there is no shortage. Our blood stocks are healthy for all the different ethnicities, but it is definitely important to get all the different cultures and represent all the different types of blood within our blood stocks each and every day, so we do encourage all ethnicities to come forward and donate blood in order to keep those blood stocks healthy so that the blood is available for anybody who needs it at any time