It’s National Blood Week!
Blood definitely isn’t the sexiest topic out there, however it is an important one. With this week being National Blood Week, I thought I’d try and convince people to go online at www.blood.co.uk/ and register today to help save someone’s life.
You can give blood in your lunch break, it’s that quick and easy. My experience wasn’t the best, but I would still like to be able to help people in need, even if it does mean sitting with a large needle in my arm for 8 minutes.
As I said, my experience wasn’t the easiest. That’s partly because I’ve had low blood pressure my whole life, so losing a pint of the stuff was never going to end well. I didn’t actually faint, but I think I was close to it.
It didn’t help that it was a hot day, and it DEFINITELY didn’t help that I had recently cut out a lot of sugar from my diet. So combine low blood sugar (probably) with low blood pressure, and it’s not surprising I felt a bit faint.
4 months later, I feel ready to do it again. Now that I know what happened last time (blackness, feeling dizzy, feeling hot, ringing in my ears), I can tell a nurse in advance, so they can be more aware of the situation. They’ll also let me lie down for a lot longer to allow my blood pressure to rise again. Most people can get straight up and walk out without feeling any different, but of course, not me.
They do provide hot drinks (which, after nearly fainting, I wasn’t allowed. It drops your blood pressure, apparently, who knew?!) and plenty of biscuits (which I couldn’t have due to cutting out sugar). I had some crisps instead and some orange squash.
There are lots of donor centres around, so just do your research.
My nearest one is at Chester Racecourse, not even a 10 minute drive from my house. However, it is advisable, if you have low blood pressure like me, that you get someone else to go with you who will be safe to drive home afterwards. I’m sure it’s nigh on impossible to faint when sat down, but it’s just not worth that risk. Especially because my drive home is through Chester city centre.
Appointments vary, but you can choose your specific time. If you had enough space in the day, you can also just walk in without an appointment, though there might be a queue. You can register online and then book an appointment immediately after registering.