National Blood Week

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Giving blood is such a simple thing that saves so many lives, but many can be fearful of it or even if they are willing, don’t know where to start. This week (1o-16 June) is National Blood Week and is the perfect way to raise awareness of the benefits of giving blood and a reminder to go and do so if you’re able. 

A blood transfusion is a vital medical treatment that can often be taken for granted but saves so many lives on a daily basis. Giving blood can help with so many medical treatments, from paramedics giving victims of traffic accidents or stabbings the blood transfusions they need under immense pressure in emergency circumstances, to doctors treating someone suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer or kidney disease. The list of uses is endless, but blood isn’t created from thin air. These medical treatments rely on members of the public willing to give blood to someone in need. Over 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients across England, so there is always demand for blood donations.

It is estimated that around half of current donors are over the age of 45, so many regular blood donors are approaching the age where they are no longer able to continue giving blood. Therefore there is a desperate need for more young people that are over the age of 17 to start giving blood, so that we can make sure we have enough blood to save lives in the future. Some rare blood types are most common in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, so donors from these ethnic backgrounds are also high in demand.

If you would like to donate blood, the NHSBT website is simply, www.blood.co.uk where you can find the answers to any questions you may have about giving blood. You can check your eligibility, specific blood types that are in desperate demand, your nearest blood donation clinic, what to expect when giving blood and to sign up to become a regular blood donor if you would like to.

Use this week as an opportunity to take a few minutes out of your day, to do something that will add years onto the life of someone else.

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Features Editor 2016-18, English Student, aspiring journalist and avid traveller

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