National Blood Week, 10 – 16 June 2019. Are you doing your bit?
National Blood Week takes place this week and highlights the key issues in blood donation. Things such as the urgent need for more male blood donors; more black blood donors and more O Negative donors.
Blood donation saves lives, but sometimes people take it for granted that the right blood will be there. Blood, or the components of blood are used to treat patients with medical conditions such as anaemia, cancer, blood disorders and those having surgery, to mention a few.
Are you doing your bit?
Tracy Caldecoat, Installation Supervisor at Astra has been a blood donor since 1982, and currently made 68 donations. Tracy explained ‘I originally decided to give, just because….. why not? Someone somewhere, may need it, I could save a life.
Later on, when I had children it seemed so much more important, if anything ever happened to them, I would like to think there was blood available. After that it just became the norm. I’ve taken part in a trial, to see if women are able to give more frequently, currently women can give every 4 months, men every 3.
It takes about 30 to 40 minutes out of your day to donate, is relatively painless (just a small scratch). Then when you’re done you get a hot (or cold) drink and a biscuit (crisps or a chocolate bar - things have moved on since 1982). This is also a chance to have a chat with other Donors.
The Blood Team, have always been really friendly, and reassuring, and now send a message to let you know where your blood has been used, which gives you a great feeling of satisfaction knowing it has helped someone.’
The demand for blood from hospitals has fallen due to increased efficiency, but new donors are always needed to make sure there is enough blood to treat those who need it.
Across the nation around 6000 people give blood, giving up their time to save lives. One of those new donors is Julia Evans, Office Manager at Astra Security.
Julia has only just started donating blood, but said ‘Giving a blood donation has made me feel like I am giving something back and that my action of giving blood ultimately could save someone’s life. I’ve always thought about donating blood, but it’s always been something I’ve never followed up with, so when my colleague Tracy, who has given blood for many years spoke about this recently I was inspired to book myself an appointment as soon as I could!’