Make a Donation


Friday, August 17, 2012

And all you have to give is time and a little of yourself

Pillow cases 75-80 Complete. 20 to go till we reach 100.

After completing a couple of pillowcases yesterday, I went and donated blood for the NHS. This was the second time I have donated in the UK but not my second time. I have donated blood nearly every chance I could, for the last 10 years. I have also donated platelets half a dozen times whilst in college.

I have been asked if donating either of these things is painful, and to be truthful, most of the time it isn't. Saying that I have had a handful of bad experiences where the needle went in wrong and I ended up with a bruise from my wrist to my shoulder and times when donating platelets when the blood went back in under my skin rather than in the vein. Even though I have had these bad experiences I continue to go back because I know that my one donation is saving the lives of up to three people. 

For more information on donating and where to donate follow the links below:

Platelets are donated less frequently than whole blood. They are needed for more specialised reasons such as for people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or leukaemia and severe blood disorders. This donation can take up to 2 hours to complete and you can do it every two days in the US but it is recommended that you only do it every two weeks. It is illegal in both the US and the UK to get paid for blood or platelets that will be used in humans, however, to encourage people to donate in the US, gift certificates are common. In the UK you will not be given anything, so just the knowledge that you are helping someone will have to suffice. 

For more information on platelet donations in the UK go to  or for the US. Also talk to your local hospital to point you in the right direction as there may be other blood banks operating in your area.  

Bone Marrow
The scariest of all donations has to be bone marrow. I can't imagine how painful it is to have a needle stuck into your hip bone, however the test to see if you are a match is painless. 30% of people who require a bone marrow donation can get it from a family member, and that means 70% need a total stranger to be willing to tested for compatibility. 

If you are interested there are a couple of groups in the US who register people to become donors. I suggest that you talk to your doctor or call the hospital for a recommendation on who you should use. 

If you live in the UK and want more information on donating Bone Marrow you can contact the British Bone Marrow Registry. But here is the gist of what is required: you must be a blood donor between the ages of 18-49. At your next or first donation of blood ask to be registered and they will extract an extra sample of blood to be tested. Now that I know this I will be doing this at my next donation.   

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