This new year, a renewed campaign is being waged in Lincolnshire to encourage some of the large number of non-donor adults to make blood donation their new year’s resolution.
NHS Blood and Transplant is suggesting instead of giving something up, people in the area should give. By becoming a blood donor you could save or improve up to three lives by sparing an hour.
Mum Rachel Armitage, of Caythorpe, explained she has been giving blood for much of her adult life. She said: “When my mum was having chemotherapy for breast cancer, she would have a blood transfusion every now and then and it always made her feel better. I never forgot that, and since then I’ve always made an effort to give blood at least twice a year, even though I’m terrified of needles!”
She said it is easy to book in and attend and you get tea and a biscuit for your trouble.
She said: “I mostly give blood at The Venue in Navenby or Sleaford New Life Church, my next appointment is in April.”
There is confusion and myths about who is able to donate. Check the donation criteria on the blood.co.uk website. While people currently need to wait four months after a new tattoo or piercing, there are no specific criteria preventing smokers or vegetarians from donating. Many people who believe they cannot donate, may discover they can.
NHS Blood and Transplant always needs first time donors to replace those who cannot donate any more, and to ensure the right mix of blood groups to meet patient needs.
More than half of current blood donors are aged over 45 so more younger donors are wanted, as are those from black and Asian communities, and donors with the universal blood group O negative.
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 you should be able to give blood.
Why not look into whether you could become a platelet donor? They particularly need donors with the A negative blood group. One platelet donation can help up to three adults or 12 babies or children.
Visit ww.blood.co.uk, download a give blood app or contact 0300 123 23 23.