Did you know 1 in 3 people need blood? But despite this only 1 in 30 people will donate blood.
– Australian Red Cross Blood Service
The first time I went to donate blood, they weighed me and said “You are underweight to donate blood.”
It was a bit embarrassing but I couldn’t do anything about it then.
After a few years, I tried again and yeeepiii, I was eligible to donate blood.
Since then I have been donating blood nearly every three months if I am in Sydney and AS has been donating blood since he came here. He used to do it before as well but not in a regular basis but now both of us do it regularly.
I just got an email and my next donation is next Monday. I am looking forward to it as it feels good that I am doing my small bit to help someone who needs blood to be alive.
For those of you who have never given blood, you should consider it as it is not difficult or even painful. All you have to do is go to a collection location which can be easily found on the Red Cross websites. Make sure you have a good meal and plenty of water before you go. You need to go there with a form of identification and they will give you a questionnaire to fill up. Once you have filled it up, they will interview you regarding your general health, check haemoglobin levels and blood pressure to ensure you are eligible to donate blood.
Then you lie down on a bed, they will put a needle in the vein (believe me it is not painful, you won’t even feel it) and take out about 470 ml of the blood and all done.
They even provide snacks after you give blood. Normally it is a piece of fruit, some chocolates and water so once you are done you sit down in the waiting area for 15 minutes, have the snacks, make sure you are ready and fit to go back.
The whole process takes around 60 minutes for the first time and if you donate regularly, it will take around 30 minutes as you don’t have to do the long interviews again when you have a Donor card.
Here are the few facts from Red Cross Australia website
Most people are able to give blood if they:
- are fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation or in the previous 7 days
- are aged between 16-70 years (in QLD and WA 16-17 year olds require parental consent)
- weigh more than 45kg (16-17 year olds need to weigh more than 50kg)
- are prepared by having plenty of liquid the day before donation, especially in warm weather. In addition, in the 3 hours before donating, please drink at least 3 good-sized glasses of water/juice.
- eat something in the 3 hours before donating
- bring ID. Please bring at least one form of photo identification.
And here are some more interesting facts
- negative blood is universal and can be given to anyone
- Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days
- 470ml of blood is collected when you donate blood
- Australia has one of the safest blood supplies in the world
- Within 24-48 hours of giving blood, your blood volume is completely restored
- You can donate double platelets- helping twice as many people
Hope you will consider giving blood and save 3 more life.