This Christmas, why not donate blood?

Conor McKeogh

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Are you looking to do something good over the holiday season? You could do much worse than giving blood this Christmas. It’s fast, costs nothing and is of huge benefit this time of year.

Last month, the Blood Transfusion Service Board appealed for more donors coming up to Christmas. Its a great gift to give to someone; even though they’ll probably never get to thank you.

 

Where To Give Blood

There are 46 venues in Dublin where you can give blood, scattered across the city. Just pop in.

Registration

Flickr, (Royal Australian Navy)
Flickr (Royal Australian Navy)

Once at the venue, all you have to do is give your name, address, contact number and email to sign up. Then there’s a brief questionnaire to fill in about your health, which can answer online to see if you’re eligible. You can back out at any time if you want.

Haemoglobin Testing

Test tubes, Flickr (biologycorner)
Test tubes, Flickr (biologycorner)

Once accepted, it’s time for your Haemoglobin test. A small drop of blood is taken from your finger to test if you’re anaemic (that is, if you’ve got a low haemoglobin level). It’s a small prick and isn’t painful.

Giving Blood

Donating blood, Flickr (Denise Krebs)
Donating blood, Flickr (Denise Krebs)

Now it’s time for action. Lying on a bed, a pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm to make your veins more prominent. Then a nurse or doctor will attach a needle (it’s not that painful!) which will release your blood into a sterile blood bag you can’t see.

About 480ml will come out of you and it takes about 8 to 15 minutes.

Afterwards, you’ll need to rest for about 15 minutes just to be sure you don’t faint. Unfortunately, gone are the days of a pint of Guinness afterwards, but there are still plenty of crisps, sweets and juices available.

All Done

That’s it! It only takes about 25 minutes. You’ve done a very good deed, fair play.

So just be a blood donor now, and save lives!

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Conor McKeogh