Saturday, 9 June 2012

Blood Donor Month

My little blood-drop avatar created
this morning on SANBS' website.
It's that time of year again - Blood Donor Month - and this year 14 June is World Blood Donor Day.

Donating blood is easy-peasy and there are centres all over the place. I've written about donating blood many times before (my post on O Group blood; becoming a regular donor) and as always I encourage you not to just donate once-off as this doesn't help anyone. Aim to donate regularly - at least three times a year (you can donate every 52 days; I usually do every three months). As a donor with 'regular donor' status your blood is trusted and all components are used.

SANBS needs 3000 units a day to fulfill the country's requirements: blood needed during operations, child birth (moms and babies), for people with blood disorders and trauma. One accident victim alone could use 40 units!

A nurse told me a few years ago that 89% of donors only start to donate once they've been on the receiving end. Don't wait people, donate just because you can.

Donating blood is not sore - the needle prick is less painful than having blisters on your toes during a race - and it takes less than 15 minutes to fill a pint. Yesterday I filled my pint in 5min 30sec!

Check out this guy, James Harrison, 'The man with the golden arm'. He received blood at the age of 13 during chest surgery and when he turned 18 he began donating regularly. He has done over 1000 donations. In addition, "After the first few donations, it was discovered that his blood contained a rare antibody that prevents infants who receive his blood from dying of Rhesus disease, a deadly form of anemia. This blood is given to one in ten women whose blood is not compatible with that of their children. The uniqueness of his blood also created the Anti-D vaccine. When he originally began donating blood, his life was insured for one million dollars. He reached his 1,000th donation in May 2011. His blood has helped to save around two million babies with hundreds of thousands of women being treated with his antibodies."

Goodness - I'm only on my way to my 30th!

If you go to donate this month, please send me a photo so that I can add it here (lisa at ar dot co dot za).

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