Today we celebrate World Blood Donor Day. This day is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. It is also to thank all of those who have donated blood previously.
Why donating is important
Donating blood is critical to maintain healthcare services. Without voluntary donors, blood supplies would quickly cease and leaving many patients in critical condition unable to get their much-needed transfusion. Each year, approximately 2.5 million units of blood are transfused in the UK. In England alone, 5000 donations of blood are used daily. Blood and blood products are used daily in our health service. They are used in operations, transfused to patients battling cancer and anaemia. Blood donation is a lifeline that so many depend on. Donating is a very quick process! Typically, 1 pint (470ml) is taken, and this usually takes 5-10 minutes! Followed by the obligatory snacks that are provided at the clinic!
Who can donate?
There are 8 main blood types. The table below indicates the blood types and the percentage of the UK population with each type.
O negative is the universal blood type, it is safe for everyone to receive red blood cells from this type. You can also receive blood from a person with the same type as you or from another compatible blood type.
If you are not yet registered to donate blood, see if you are eligible to do so here! https://my.blood.co.uk/preregister