Sharing A Pint

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Less then 13% of your total blood volume

If, like me, you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution (eating healthier was never going to last long when you can buy a packet of chocolate bourbons for 33p) then it may be time to consider a new ambition. Mine was to give blood.

This lent why not do something, something amazing. Giving blood is quick and easy to do. I know it scares lots of people when the nurse says “we’ll just take a pint” but really when you consider you this is no more than 13% of your entire blood volume and the nurses check it’s safe for you to give blood before you even go anywhere near a needle or syringe, the procedure seems less scary.

I recently went to try and donate for the first time. The bloodmobile came to the Garden Court at the University and I realised I had no excuse for not giving blood. It’s on campus, I have a bus pass and live less than thirty seconds from the bus stop I get off at.  I am going with a friend who has already given blood three times and I have no plans for the rest of the evening.

So I went all prepared. I was a little nervous because I have been signed up to the register since I was sixteen but never got round to going, nervousness of the unknown always found an excuse or a way to scare me off before now.  So I turned up and was greeted by the mounds of confectionary you are expected to help yourself to. Filled out a form to check I hadn’t been anywhere or done anything that could potentially make my blood unsafe for the recipient. Then I had a chat with the nurse. Unfortunately I was turned away at this point before even a single drop of blood was taken due to a slight technical hitch. I didn’t know my weight (my general outlook is that when my jeans feel a bit tight I start to think I might go to the gym a bit more) and my estimation skills are appalling so as a precaution they sent me home.

I was really disappointed. I had really built it up in my head and was proud of myself for even turning up but at the same time I was gutted to have not been able to donate. In my head the whole time I had been thinking about the people I could have helped. Blood donors have helped several of my friends and family members giving me the chance to have a few more years with them being happy and healthy. I just wanted to give something back and let other people experience the same, after all two of the most common reasons for a blood transfusion are cancer and blood loss from a major accident. Those cases are predominantly down to chance whether you are affected by them or not, yes there are things we can do to reduce our risk of them such as not smoking, eating healthily and being safe when on the road but even the healthiest people can fall foul of these.

Go to http://www.blood.co.uk/ And then consider going to a session, giving blood and saving a life. I’ll join you.

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