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Blood donation

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I did "search" this but here you don't seem to like old threads being resurrected so I'm starting a new one! I was just wondering if anyone donates blood and how they find the whole experience?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Curvy_lass wrote: »
    I did "search" this but here you don't seem to like old threads being resurrected so I'm starting a new one! I was just wondering if anyone donates blood and how they find the whole experience?

    well i havnt personally given blood because im not allowed but i went with my sister when she gave blood. its a little bit of a strange sight to see people lying randomly on beds everywhere giving blood and then afterwards they go sit at a table and scoff loads of crisps and chocolate!
    she felt a bit faint afterwards the first time she gave blood but thats because she was a bit underweight, but this time she felt absolutely fine! the nurses are really friendly and helpful and put your mind at rest :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've only done it once but i would like to do it again, it wasn't a bad experience. The worst part was seeing how big the needle was before they put it in and a little bit of stinging while it was in there. I actually found the mechanics of it quite amazing, the whole squeezing on a stress ball making the blood come out quicker and all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's been a long time since I gave blood, but while worthwhile I found the needle uncomfortable, and the vulnerability unsettling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd like to give blood but the system seems to be quite biased against quite a lot of people - so if you can do then i would say its definately worth it. Whenever i've looked into it i've been barred becauase i do lots of travelling to dodgyish destinations
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to give blood on a regular basis, was quite upset when they said I had to stop for a while (although they did give me my Bronze award at the same time which kind of made up for it).

    I don't know what kind of information you're after. Feel free to ask more specific questions.

    The whole process takes a fair while, if it's your first donation then you'll probably be there about 1.5 hours. All the nurses and staff there are really really really nice. I've been a fair number of times, and that's always been without exception. The questionnaire thing you fill in is quite detailed and asks some pretty personal questions, but it's not really awkward.

    Personally I think that the finger prick test they do on your iron levels hurts a damn site more than the actual donation bit. Having the needle in your arm is a strange sensation but it doesn't really hurt as such. If you do decide to do it then make sure you have lots and lots to drink on the day and the day before, makes donating much quicker and easier.

    Do you know what happens? I can go through the whole process step by step, but it's a fair amount of typing if you already know.

    I'd highly recommend it you can, it's a good reason to snack on loads of retro biscuits and crisps afterwards and you'll make an amazing difference
    to peoples lives. The only reason my mum is still alive is because she had an 8 unit transfusion, that week 8 people made a huge difference not only to her life, but all my familys.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They told my friend to go and put on some weight first. She is just naturally slim! Might be off topic but are gay people still not allowed to give blood? This website has an article on everything! :)http://www.thesite.org/healthandwellbeing/generalhealth/healthservices/givingblood
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, although I didn't last time I could because I'm anaemic at the mo.

    And, clementine, men who have sex with men are still barred from life, even if it was a one off, and even if they used a condom. Most countries are moving now to a model of identifying risky behaviour rather than discriminating against entire groups but not us...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would love to give blood, but am currently banned from doing. Only 9 months to go before I can hopefully give blood.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I would love to give blood, but am currently banned from doing. Only 9 months to go before I can hopefully give blood.

    Silly qustion, but how do you get banned from blood donation? I didnt realise it was THIS complicated...:chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I once asked an HIV specialist about the whole gay/MSM ban on blood donation, thinking she would have been really opposed about it, but she was in complete favour of it. I can't remember her exact reasons, but she was very clear about it being a good thing.

    I give blood when I'm not doing exams (I need all the help I can get when it comes to that :D ) I've never looked at the needle so I'm not sure what gauge they use. Edit: powers of googlefu tell me it's a 16 gauge.

    I too find the fingerprick the worst part.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The National Blood Service website provides loads of information and a virtual step by step guide to the process

    http://www.blood.co.uk/pages/b5simple.html


    I want to give blood I just never get round to it :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    Most countries are moving now to a model of identifying risky behaviour rather than discriminating against entire groups but not us...

    I think it is a tough one. At first glance it is unfair on gay men who practice safer sex within stable long-term relationships. But gay men are at a much greater risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV and I don't think it's appropriate to take risks with other people's lives. I think it is much easier for NBS to have a blanket ban; the alternative is to have to ask a million prying questions about someone's sex life.

    I was in Australia ten years ago when a five-year-old girl in Melbourne contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. That convinced me that it's not right to take risks with other people's lives, especially not for a political point.

    As for giving blood, the only thing I hate is having my finger pricked. It bloody hurts like hell. The actual donation needle doesn't hurt at all in comparison. It's really easy to give blood, providing the NBS don't make one of their many mistakes. I've tried to give blood twice in the last six months and the NBS have cocked up the appointments both times. I'm too busy to waste my time with their incompetence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are loads of reasons that people can't give blood, and they fall into one of two categories.

    (1) Because there's a raised risk of your blood potentially carrying something that could harm the person who receives it
    (2) Because there's a raised risk that you giving blood could cause harm to you (or a knock on effect of those around you, eg. certain jobs you have to have x hours before you next work)

    I'm currently not allowed to give blood because I had a dizzy spell just as I got home from the last time and ended up lying down on the step outside my house. Stupidly didn't think and cycled home fast up a hill.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kind of picking up on what Kermit said.

    The easiest way to do it is to make an appointment, and ideally one right at the start of a session. That way things are much more likely to run to time and you won't have a problem.

    There seems to be a certain amount of regional variation in how good they are at managing appointments and things. The area where I'm a student they are always brilliant, at home it's a lot more hit and miss.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    As for giving blood, the only thing I hate is having my finger pricked. It bloody hurts like hell. The actual donation needle doesn't hurt at all in comparison. It's really easy to give blood, providing the NBS don't make one of their many mistakes. I've tried to give blood twice in the last six months and the NBS have cocked up the appointments both times. I'm too busy to waste my time with their incompetence.
    The last time I went it took 4 attempts to get any reasonable blood out of my finger. FOUR! And then it didn't work and she had to take some out of my arm... Suffice to say they decided I wasn't well enough so I got barred for 6 months whilst my iron is low.

    You get barred for health reasons, usually. If you are very slim (even naturally) you can't give that much blood safely and if you're anaemic likewise. Plus anaemic blood's not much use.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree that the iron test seems to hurt more than the actual donation. It usually takes me quite a while to fill the bag, but I find rolling a pen in my hand helps the blood flow quicker. Also, make sure you drink plenty before you go, as it will be easier to find a good vein :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I first started giving blood, at the Bradford permanent centre, they had squeezy toys to use and the machine tipped the blood bag about. The Newcastle centre are crap, they're always messing up appointments (sorry, we're running late, can you come back next week?) and they managed to mess up getting blood out of Ellie's arm about four times.

    It's a shame because I enjoy giving blood, it makes me feel all smug and fuzzy, but I can't be doing with being messed around.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've been wanting to give blood for ages but I've never got around to it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wish i could gie blood, but i've been told you have to be at least 7 1/2 stone :( This is actually a bit above my target weight so i guess i might never be able to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    skakitty wrote: »
    I wish i could gie blood, but i've been told you have to be at least 7 1/2 stone :( This is actually a bit above my target weight so i guess i might never be able to.

    I'm pretty sure it's 50kg, which is about 7st 12lb. I guess it's as much about proportions as health.

    Which is a shame, cause I'd totally give blood. I have enough taken as it is. Although that's not the only reason they won't have mine atm :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yup, that sounds about right! but i'm never gonna be 7st 12lb!! :(
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