Have you ever thought of being a blood donor, but have put it off because you don’t like needles? Or because you’re worried about the effect it might have on you? Or you’ve just never got round to it? I’d like to encourage everyone to donate blood, it’s a fantastic way of helping other people and it really isn’t as bad as you might think. Here are just seven reasons to be a blood donor.
Blood transfusions really do save lives, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Donating is a wonderful gesture that costs you nothing, and although donors obviously don’t know who has received their blood, just think how amazing it will feel to know that someone could be alive because of you. And all it takes is a little of your time.
Some people have rare blood groups, so donors within those groups are particularly needed. This rarity means that the potential pool of donors is naturally reduced, so the more donors from these groups that come forward, the better. Incompatible blood can cause severe problems, so it is vital that recipients are given the correct group.
The various components of blood have different shelf lives; with platelets it is just five days. Plasma lasts up to one year, but this still means that a constant supply is needed, as chances are the supply won’t last that long. Since blood does not keep for long, and supplies are constantly being used up, it would really help if donors give blood as often as they are permitted to.
Any one of us, at any time, may need a transfusion. I might not be here if it weren’t for donors, and I would happily do the same for someone else if I could (sadly I can’t). If we’re happy to receive blood should the need arise, shouldn’t we be prepared to donate as well?
We’ve all heard of blood transfusions, but did you know that the different components of blood can be used for all kinds of purposes? Processed plasma can be used to treat haemophilia, platelets for chemotherapy and leukemia patients, and red cells for certain types of anaemia. Blood can even be used to improve quality of life for people with a terminal illness.
Some conditions, such as sickle cell anaemia, may require frequent regular transfusions. Platelets have a very short storage life, so platelet donors are needed to donate up to 8 times a year. So you can imagine that a lot of donors are needed just for this alone. It can make such a difference to someone’s life – isn’t that a great reason for becoming a regular donor?
When you donate your blood, the amount that is taken is made up in a very short time. So, if you’re suitable to be a donor, you won’t suffer in any way, and your levels will quickly be back to normal.
As someone who has benefitted from a transfusion, I can tell you that I am incredibly grateful to the donors. In fact, donor blood has saved the life of a family member, so I have direct proof of how important it is. So I would urge anyone who is suitable to be a blood donor. So many people will be grateful to you!
Top Photo Credit: Pink Alien 2011
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