Published on May 16, 2013 | by Emma Francis

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Give Blood

Billboard advertisement encouraging people to donate blood.

Most people would happily receive a life-saving blood transfusion, but how many of us are actually willing to donate? [flickr: HowardLake]

@emmafrancis_

‘Give Blood’ are not unfamiliar words to us. But who actually does? Statistics show that only four per cent of us do.

It was something I had always said I wanted to do, yet I never got round to it. Maybe you don’t know where to give blood, or the thought of the needles makes you feel a little sick.  I put it off a lot.

In March 2013 I was given a blood transfusion that saved my life, so I was eager to return the favour.

I was really disappointed when a nurse told me that, because I had received a blood transfusion, I would never be able to give blood. Anyone who has received a transfusion since 1980 can be a carrier of a rare degenerative brain disorder so they are not eligible to donate blood.

Encourage

You never know when you could be that person in need. As far as I knew, I was fit and healthy. I eat well and go to the gym on a regular basis. I had stomach pains every time I ate for about a week and went to the doctor but was told it was probably just a stomach bug that would soon go.

A few days later I had collapsed on my bathroom floor, vomited blood, and was rushed to A&E, where I was given two blood transfusions after losing over 65% of my blood.

The cause of my internal bleeding was a stomach ulcer. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in England will have a stomach ulcer during some point in their life. There are countless other causes for extreme blood loss, so whilst you’re healthy, give blood, and encourage others to do so too. You never know when it could be the difference between life and death.

Find your nearest blood donor centre here

 

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