During the festive period blood shortages become a serious challenge here in the UK. One reason being that people are more likely to miss their appointment at this time of year. Last Christmas the NHS found 1 in 5 donors missed their donation session which is anything but good!
In the next six weeks 210,000 blood donations and 12,500 platelet donations are needed to make sure hospitals in England and North Wales have the stocks they need to meet the Christmas demand.
So whether there's more people unwell or too many people boozing (and forgetting) all we know is that the NHS needs your help. What can you do? Make a donation. Here's 14 reasons to donate blood, stat...
1. It will allow someone to live a full and active life
Donating blood to someone can save their life and not just in emergency situations. Your red blood cells can also help people undergoing long-term treatment for cancer and blood diseases, as well as for treating anaemia and in certain operations.
2. People are more likely to miss their appointment at this time of year
Which means the NHS needs your help to make up the numbers. If every one of us donated regularly (up to 3 times a year for women) blood shortages would be a thing of the past.
3. One day this could be you
Over 25% of us will need blood at least once over our lifetime. Whether it's during childhood, an accident or cancer treatment there's a decent chance that at some point in your life you will need blood too.
4. Most people can give blood
Most of us are perfectly fine to give blood, however, there are some exceptions. If you've been feeling ill lately, had dental work done recently or are on a hospital waiting list, you won't be able to give blood.
But you can STILL help raise awareness of the importance. Simply, convince someone who CAN to donate! That's all you need to do. Find out here if you can give blood.
Check out the blood donors wrapped as Christmas presents below with little Reagan who is their 5 year old regular blood recipient. Tissues, please!
5. It's safe and healthy!
Don't worry, donating blood is completely safe! Everything is cleaned and sterilised and they are plenty of trained medical professions on hand to carry this out. They will only take about one pint of blood which your body can replace in a flash.
6. Only 4% of adults are currently donors
But we can do better than that!
7. Your plasma can provide a world of nutrients
One of the main components of your blood is plasma. This provides proteins, nutrients and a clotting agent that is necessary to stop bleeding. So rest assure - nothing is ever wasted.
8. Help people in their fight against cancer
Platelets are tiny cells that can help people undergoing cancer treatment regain their strength, fight infections and make a quick and smooth recovery. Give them a helping hand.
9. Each donation you give can help up to 3 people
Now, that's a donation worth giving!
10. Blood has a shelf life
Did you know someone needs blood every two seconds? Keeping up with demand is far from easy, especially because our blood has an expiry date.
Here's our blood's shelf-life:
Red cells: Up to 35 days
Plasma: Up to one year
Platelets: Up to seven days
To add to the problem...
11. There's 8 different blood types
So maintaining sufficient stock isn't always easy either. Donate blood and find out which blood type you are! Interesting fact: O Rh negative is a particularly special blood type because it is the only type that can be given to anyone and everyone! Aren't you wondering which one you are?
12. You can do it on your lunch break
The process only takes 10-15 minutes. No excuse ladies.
13. Get a free mini check-up!
Not only will you be helping save lives but you'll also get your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and iron levels checked. Not a bad deal, right?
14. It's the greatest gift you can give this Christmas
Giving someone a second chance at life is the greatest give you can EVER give. #BeAHero
If you're interested in donating blood find your nearest blood donation centre here. THANK YOU!
We're giving blood this season - are you? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!
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