This is my arm last night - what I was doing was giving blood.
I put this picture on my Instagram and was inundated with direct messages of people asking what the experience was like. Mostly they were from my younger readers but there were some in there that had never done and were unsure if they would. I've put this post together to answer some of the questions I was asked as I think many more people may have the same ones....
Why give blood?
"Donated blood is a lifeline for many people needing long-term treatments, not just in emergencies." - Give Blood, NHS
By donating blood you are saving someones life - it's a small thing you can do for your fellow human beings.
Can I give blood?
Yes anyone can as long as you are fit and healthy and weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg). There are some guidelines that the NHS give out which you can view HERE if you would like to read them in detail. When you do go to give blood you are asked to fill out a questionnaire then sit and have a health screening with a nurse so if there is any reason why not they would flag it there.
What happens when you go to give blood?
The NHS provides a really good explanation of each stage of the blood donation process which you can view HERE. Basically you have your health screening and go give blood! The best part is after when you get biscuits :)
The most asked question....
Does it hurt?
No. In my opinion no as it's just a small scratch and it's done. If you don't like needles look away and the nurses are very chatty so will distract you. I promise you that you are building it up in your head and it's absolutely nothing...
How long does it take?
Mine was pretty quick taking about 5-minutes which I think is the average time. Overall I was there for 30 minutes from start to finish including the health screening and a little waiting time. A top tip here would be book an appointment for when you are going online as it speeds the whole process up which is good if you are a little apprehensive.
Why I give blood...
I personally haven't known anyone that's needed a blood transfusion but every day I see stories on the news of serious accidents where people need emergency care which includes blood transfusions. I give it because you never know who you could help, anything from a perfect stranger to family who desperately needs it to survive. It's such a small thing to do with such a huge impact so I would urge you to go do it.