Today I gave blood for the first time. I was originally intending to just go into Cottingham to pick up a few bits and pieces to make myself some dinner tonight, but when I saw the “Please Give Blood” vans, I felt I should do my bit, especially as I have been intending to pretty much since I turned 18 last July.
The process of registering to give blood was simple and only took about 5 minutes, and included basic personal information including name, age and address as well as some medical history. When I went to return my form to the nurse I was asked if I had eaten in the past two hours, I hadn’t, so I was asked to go and buy a Sandwich and Crisps from the Sainsbury’s from across the road. I didn’t have a problem with this 😉
Once I had eaten, and read what seemed like dozens of leaflets about blood and its medicinal uses whilst waiting for my turn I was shown to a private cubicle to talk about my medical history and to have my blood tested for Iron levels. This was done using a quick prick to the finger and a special solution in which an Iron-full drop of blood drops within 15 seconds. My drop of blood dropped to the bottom of the solution almost instantly, so it seems I have a lot of Iron in my system. :P. Because I’d put on my form that I have had previous “Heart issues”, an innocent heart murmur when I was a child, a more experienced nurse had to sign off my forms.
Once all the formalities of signing forms and talking about medical history were over I was asked to read yet more leaflets, this time on what to do after my blood had been taken, including advice to exercises to quickly get blood flowing around my body and what to do if I experienced any head aches or light headedness. I was then shown to a bed where they took 3 viles and a pint of my blood.
Afterwards I was given a biscuit and allowed to leave. Apparently my blood could be used to save someone’s life in as little as 48 hours, which is an interesting and exciting idea.
The point of this blog post is to try to get some other students giving blood. I didn’t see a single person my age throughout the entire process, which is a bit sad as we’re at the age where our blood regenerates the quickest so we’re in theory the best candidates to give! So go sign up today.