“I really want to give blood, but…” is something that I’ve heard a lot in recent years. I used to be the same, so I thought I’d offer a few facts and share my own experiences with something I truly believe in to encourage people to donate.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service collects around one million donations per year from only 3% of the population, yet 33% of people will need blood at some stage in their life. Think about the number of your friends, families and co-workers who have been sick in the past and I’m sure a picture begins to form as to how essential it is to have blood at-the-ready for those who need it. Wandering where all the blood goes? Each donation gets divided up so that your blood can go to a variety of people in need. The largest proportion of donations goes towards sufferers of cancer, heart, kidney and stomach diseases. Many of whom may require regular transfusions. Even new mothers and babies may require a transfusion.
I wanted to give blood from when I was 16, and didn’t. I was scared about what was involved and also for some reason hated the idea of having to get parental permission/supervision for the whole process. The one time I did seriously look into making an appointment I was told I wasn’t allowed because I was on Roaccutane. Even when I turned 18 and was off Roaccutane I still put if off because I was “busy”.
The one thing I found that did make me pick up the phone was setting a goal. For me, that goal was in the form of a 2009 New Years Resolution. I know, I know, no one ever sticks to these things. So to improve my chances of success, I had to make the goal measurable. “give blood this year” wasn’t a good goal because I would have given myself too much time (12 months) to complete something that takes less than an hour, thus providing little motivation. After thinking about it I decided on the goal: donate whole blood three times in a year. Why three times in a year? It’s a nice number. Also, because you can only give blood every 12 weeks, three donations a year gives leeway for date-setting.
The First Donation:
After filling out the paperwork declaring that I in fact did not have HIV, mad cow, hep B or malaria. As well as ensuring the nurses that I had consumed a ridiculous amount of water for the day (you need to have consumed at least 2L) I was nervous, but ready. The whole process was over faster than expected and before anyone asks, it doesn’t hurt or feel too weird. I simply lay there in the amazingly comfortable bed/chair things and watched less than 10 minutes of whatever day time television happened to be airing while they took 470mls of blood. Afterwards, I returned to the waiting room where an assortment of muffins, chocolate, biscuits, crackers, cheese, fruit, milo and a chupa chup are waiting for me as my reward – Stoaked! I then left the blood bank before the hour was up and 12 weeks later got a text message reminding me that I was able to give blood again.
The Call to Arms:
Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to make a booking to give blood because it is a truly valuable service which benefits so many. If you are interested, the number is 13 14 95 and for my fellow students who don’t want to use their credit: here is the link to the website, and they’ll call you! If you are still unsure, I suggest going as a group. It will help with motivation and can also be pretty fun. My brother and I race to see how fast we can do it in. To my disappointed, he is winning at around 6.5 minutes.
Finally, if you think this post encourage others, use the buttons below to share it on your wall, twitter etc.