Monday, 27 April 2009

Be the type tO help sAve a life

I’ve given blood twice in this lifetime, and I’m aiming to do it at least twice more this year.

Giving blood is surprisingly easy. I’ve never really had a problem with needles,

as I’ve received numerous vaccinations over the years. It really doesn’t hurt – believe me, if it was any kind of painful I wouldn’t be doing it for kicks – and it’s pretty straightforward. You fill out a form about how no, I haven’t shared needles or think I may have contracted AIDS or lived for more than 6 months overseas. Then you have an interview, which is basically about your form, and get your blood tested - just a prick on the finger – to see if your haemoglobin levels and blood pressure are fine. Then you go and lie down on this chair which is kind of like a dentist’s but more conformable and less scary, because there are other people lying around doing the same thing. The nurse picks an arm with the most prominent vein showing near your elbow, inserts the needle (which is quite small) which is attached to a tube which they tape to your arm which feeds to a bag resting on scales which shows how much blood you’re giving. You don’t have to look at it if you don’t want to – there’s a TV, and the radio’s on, and there’s magazines lying around, and if you’re feeling really social you can talk to the person next to you like I did when I gave blood on campus (she was a fourth year arts student, and it was her fifth time). They give you a little foam heart to hold in your hand to squeeze occasionally to make your blood pump faster. You give about 300-500ml, and in all it takes about 10-15min. If you’re a first timer, they like to keep an eye on you, so you hang around a bit more to make sure you don’t faint or whatever, then you get a snack, a drink and leave.

Photobucket While one in three Australians need blood, only one in thirty because, you know, there are all those requirements about not being pregnant or over 70 or under 16 or having heart problems or recent tattoos – actually do. I give blood because I can, and because if I were ever in a situation where I need a blood transfusion, I’d hope that someone had given it for me.




Tina said...

wow! i wish donating blood was that fun around here!
in mumbai they have blood camps in local stations sometimes and believe me, these are not the most hygienic places in the city!
"Give Blood, date a Cullen"

anahita said...

LOL I love that icon.

I'm considering giving blood this summer. I mean, I'm healthy, so why not? I'm sort of terrified of pain so I think if I do do it, I'll be really brave LOL. But yeah, this post has sort of strengthened my resolve. thanks :) xxx