It’s been something that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time. I’m already an organ donor (I carry a card around which shows that I give consent for my organs to be used in transplants after my death), but until now I’ve never given blood.
I couldn’t donate throughout much of 2007 and 2008, as I had been on high-strength steroid tablets due to flare-ups with my asthma and my overnight stay in hospital in November 2007. But although I’ve been okay since then, I admit that I’ve simply never got around to it, even when there have been donation sessions at work.
My big worry was that it would hurt. And it did – a bit. For me the worst bit was the needle being inserted at the start; the pain was similar to when I’ve had vaccinations but lasted a little longer. However, once it was in, it was okay – a little uncomfortable, but not painful, and it was done after around 10-15 minutes. All in all, I was there for about an hour, due to me being a new donor and needing a slightly longer medical check first.
Afterwards, the site where the needle went in was a little tender for a few hours, but I didn’t receive any bruising and there was just a small red dot when I took the bandage off.
I’ve already booked another appointment, for mid-March next year, to donate my second pint. If you want to give blood, you can find details at blood.org.uk – the NHS needs a constant supply of blood and so if you are healthy and can spare the time I’d urge you to do it.