Donating blood saves lives - and most can do it

Karen Currie giving blood at the Weston Rooms in Gainsborough G130731-3a
Karen Currie giving blood at the Weston Rooms in Gainsborough G130731-3a
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Seeing a plea for new donors in the paper led one of the Standard’s media sales consultants to give blood for the first time.

Karen Currie was spurred into action after reading that the Blood Service was short of O Negative donors.

“I’ve thought about giving blood in the past, but had just never gotten round to it for whatever reason,” said the mum-of-two.

“One of my daughters is O negative and thinking about if she ever needed treatment made me decide to do it.”

Karen went along to one of the regular blood donor sessions at the Weston Rooms in Gainsborough. The sessions are run by the NHS Blood and Transplant team, who are based in Sheffield.

Once there she had to register and fill out a health check questionnaire, before having a private consultation with a nurse and a fingertip blood test.

Then it was time to take a seat again and wait for her name to be called.

“I thought it would be sore, but it really didn’t hurt at all,” said Karen.

“Once the needle had gone in and it had started it only took around 10 minutes for the bag to fill up.”

“Then the nurse walked over with me while I got a drink afterwards - they really look after you from start to finish and there was always someone on-hand if anyone needed anything.”

Women can donate blood once every 16 weeks, while men are able to donate once every 12 weeks.

And now that she has done it once, Karen plans to become a regular donor.

“I’m already booked in to donate again in November, and I plan to keep going,” added Karen.

“I would encourage anyone thinking about donating to do it.”

Anyone from the age of 17 can be a donor as long as they are fit and well.

After it is taken, the blood is processed to check for infections, and is then broken up into its component parts.

The blood service supplies around two million units of blood a year to hospitals in England and north Wales.

The next blood donor session in Gainsborough is at the Weston Rooms on Hickman Street on Wednesday 28th August from 1pm to 3.15pm and 4.15pm to 7.15pm.

To make an appointment or to find out more about giving blood call the 24-hour donor helpline on 0300 123 2323 or visit www.blood.co.uk