Hospitals in England and North Wales require 8,000 units of
blood every day to ensure their patients receive the care
they need. At the National Blood Service, hard work is put
in to meet that high level of demand. However, so much of
our work relies on the generosity of blood donors who are
voluntary and unpaid. Currently, a mere five per cent of the
eligible population give blood and we need new donors all
Blood can be used for a wide range of medical treatments and
conditions, including accidents and emergencies, surgery,
maternity care and non-surgical use like cancer treatment.
Red cells are needed for sufferers of anaemia, and plasma
is used for seriously ill patients and burns victims. As nearly
all of the blood we collect is divided into its component
parts, more than one life can be saved with a single donation.
A single donation (470 ml of blood) usually takes between
five and ten minutes. The whole donation procedure is straightforward
and you should be up and about and enjoying tea and biscuits
within an hour of walking through the door. The blood collected
is then taken back to the NBS centre for testing (including
tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis) and processing,
and then it will be ready to issue to hospitals.
If you're keen to help save lives, you should be aged between
17-59 (70 for regular donors), weigh over 7st l2lbs (50 kg)
and be in general good health to be potentially eligible to
give blood. Blood donor sessions are held regularly across
the region. For more information or to book an appointment,
please call the Donor Helpline on 0845 7 711 711 or visit
the National Blood Service website at www.blood.co.uk.