I give blood and so should you

When was the last time you saved a life?

bleed for England blood give blood NHS save lives students university

Do something amazing. Save lives.

Recently a huge media campaign encouraged us to give blood, and shockingly, less than three per cent of us actually do. This is an astounding lack of donors when you consider how quick and easy it is – taking a maximum of one hour out of your day. The question is, why don’t more of us do it?

It’s honestly not as bad as it sounds.

I found giving blood to be quick, easy and virtually painless. It only takes between five and 10 minutes to pump out just under a pint of blood, so you don’t have to endure the queasy feeling for long. The only advice would be to eat a huge meal before your session or you will pass out – seriously – if you don’t you’ll end up on the floor.

Alternatively you could follow my example: turn white to the extent that the nurse has to put you in a chair upside down in an attempt to get the blood back to your head – it’s your choice.

Blood being taken from my left arm.

Believe it or not, this hasn’t put me off and there’s not much out there that can take the shine off saving lives.

I spoke to people at Brum who’d recently helped save lives. Krys, a first year Pharmacy student gives blood,  he said: “A giving blood van used to come to my school every year and I always thought I was kind of obliged because it is not difficult to do and undoubtedly one day I will need someone else’s blood to stay alive.”

Emma, a fresher, has a rare blood type and she said: “Firstly, I have a rare blood type making it important to donate. It costs nothing but half an hour of my time to potentially save someone’s life. I am not squeamish and do not mind needles, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would not want to donate.”

All plastered up

Another first year, Henry, is of the same opinion that where we are able, we must do as much as we can to help others – he said: “In everyday life you’re exposed to hearing about people in life threatening conditions, and it’s so easy to take a withdrawn perspective, as these people most likely are never going to have any overlap with your own life.

“But imagine if they do. You would feel a moral obligation to help them or anyone in that same situation, whether you know them or are donating anonymously.”

Post-graduate student, Oliver, sums up what we’re all thinking: “I go for the free food you get afterwards.”

Henry giving blood.

It’s so important that we donate as regularly as possible, and avoid just getting involved on a one off occasion. As people get older, there are more things that become wrong with their blood –  it can even be denied – so we need as much young blood as we can get.

Each donation can help up to three people – but just think, it’s far more than three when you consider all the people connected to those in need of blood transfusions.

The only reason not to donate should be if someone has a genuine fear of needles or blood.

Other than that, what’s the big excuse?

You might find yourself needing blood one day, and the donors will be the people who save you.

So go on, do something amazing. Give blood and save lives.