UK: I donated blood and it was used!

I am a proud Blood Donor.

So far I have donated 18 pints and I have a Bronze Card.  It was a  colleague who inspired me to be one.

Over the last few months, it has become a lot more exciting as the NHS send you a text message letting you know where it has been  used. I was told that my blood went to a patient or patients at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.  It all becomes real and you can imagine the drama going on and me helping the patient out, perhaps with a team of other blood donors.

I plan to make a necklace noting how many donations I have made, and plan a Location Map of where my donations have gone. I am also going to buy a plant for each donation so I have a Blood Donation garden.

Here are some of my tips for newbies:

  1. Drink enough water or liquids  beforehand, but avoid caffeine.
  2. For women, make sure you eat plenty of foods with iron or take iron supplements. You can be turned away with low iron (I was once)
  3. Take a friend or someone to come along for the first time, I didn’t, but it can be nice.
  4. You get snacks like crisps and biscuits which is great afterwards
  5. I don’t like needles much, so I just look away.Really, it is just like a pin prick.
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