Where are you from? Also a step by step guide to giving blood.

Not literally, but historically! I give blood and I am a B negative which is so rare that only two percent of the population have it, and today the nurse who was taking my blood was very excited because she has the same blood group and noticed that I was the second person she’d come across with the same blood group and same very slightly odd toes as her.

She told me that from the research she had done already, our blood group is likely to die out in the not too distant future and that no-one is quite sure how it came about.

She also said that she found an article about possible links to skeletons found that are sort of human but with extra long limbs. Sounds very bizarre to me……and also very intriguing! So I am going on a mission to find out more. We all know how accurate the internet is, (hah!), so I will take it all with a pinch of salt but I’d love to know if you have anything that makes you unusual or know something about the origins of your blood group or mine, the stranger the better!! πŸ˜€

Any truth in this do you think? Source Waking Times

Any truth in this do you think? Source Waking Times

I also thought I’d do a quick guide to giving blood and some tips as these things can be very nerve-racking the first time you and it is such a worthwhile cause so if I can allay anyone’s fears about going, I’ll be very happy.

  1. First off, make an appointment. They get too busy to take walk ins often and if you have an appointment they can send you out the forms to fill in at home. In peace, unless you have children obviously!
  2. They can also check that you are eligible to donate to save you a wasted journey. Things like tattoos and piercings don’t mean you can’t donate but there are time frames you need to adhere to and you need to mention it so they can run a few extra tests.
  3. When you arrive, there is a reception area with a computer and you will be ‘checked in’ and given a guide to read containing all the important information you need. You will be given this every time to refresh your memory as there is usually 3 or more months between donations. Our donation centre is a church hall so don’t worry that you’ll have to go to hospital or have to pay for expensive parking.
  4. You will be directed to a waiting area with some magazines. I usually bring my own or a book. It can be a long wait as things like someone calling in sick or a donor feeling a little unwell after can delay the process a little. Usually it isn’t too long a wait and they will keep you well informed if there are any delays. There is a nice camaraderie I’ve found, and so you will probably find someone to chat too to pass the time.
  5. Your name will be called and you will go into a little screened off cubicle to confirm your details and to go through the questionnaire you answered in more detail if you answered yes to any of the questions, things like medication changes, trips abroad etc, and the answers will be expanded on and signed off. Then there is a test to check your iron levels. A tiny pin prick will be made using what looks a bit like a dog training clicker and a couple of drops squeezed out into the tiniest pipette. This will be squirted into a test tube of green or blue liquid and timed to make sure it sinks in the requisite time. If not, your iron levels are considered too low to spare any blood and you won’t be able to donate in that session and directed to see your gp.
  6. All being well with your iron, you are then sent to a second waiting area and invited to help yourself to a drink of water or squash & have a seat.
  7. When they have a chair free, you will be asked if you prefer left or right arm and they will adjust it accordingly. You’ll sit in the chair and they will make you comfortable.
  8. There is a machine to whichever side they are taking from the makes a bit of noise when it is going as it keeps the bag of blood moving continuously and beeps when you’re done, nothing to panic about if it is being loud! πŸ™‚
  9. The nurse will thoroughly clean your arm and then insert a needle. Not the most pleasant but it really is just a scratch. Once in, you genuinely won’t feel it and the blood will start flowing down the small tube attached to the needle that will get taped to your wrist. You will also be reclined almost flat.
  10. There are two bags attached to the tube, a very small one that samples will be taken from, how many samples depends on whether you have been abroad/ had a recent tattoo etc, and the larger one on the moving platform.
  11. Then you are left while the bag fills up. It is recommended to clench and un-clench your fist to help the flow and you are also given a sheet with some exercise suggestions. You are generally advised against reading if it is your first time but if you’ve been a few times, you can read now…..a book is far easier to hold than a magazine one handed as I have discovered from personal awkward experience!
  12. Once the bag is full, (I promise it’s not that big, they aren’t leaving with a brimming carrier bag!), the machine will alert them by lots of beeping, there is nothing to worry about if they are tending to someone else at that minute as nothing bad can happen if you are waiting a little while, (not that that happens often!), then the needle will be removed and you are given a gauze to press down on the seriously tiny hole and they sort all the tubes and your donation out.
  13. You will be sat upright and given a few minutes to check how you are doing. It is very rare for people to faint but you can feel a little light headed if you’ve not eaten or drank enough in the day. I’d say from sitting in the chair to being sent for a biccie is around 20-30 mins.
  14. Once satisfied you are ok and when you’ve had your gauze swapped for a plaster, you will be sent over to the refreshment table and offered a cold or hot drink and there are a large selection of biscuits. These are obviously calorie free as you have just given away a lot of calories! πŸ˜‰
  15. Another appointment will be offered for the next session and when you are fully recovered, (finished your biscuit!), you can go home. Feeling pretty awesome for potentially saving someone’s life and having a license to eat cake when you get home. (Still calorie free obvs!)

It may be different in other areas of course, and for different people but that is my experience as an NHS donor in the UK. I PROMISE you that it isn’t scary, it doesn’t hurt much and they honestly don’t take very much, and the fluffy feel goods last aaaagggges. Oh, and all the staff are lovely and friendly and make it a fun cheerful atmosphere, even if they have been there all day and you are the last donor as I was tonight.

*********

Installment 2 of my personal alphabet challengeΒ where I am attempting to omit one letter from a paragraph at the end of each blog post to see which is the most difficult to write without using.

To B or not to B!

This is easy, no difficulty, I think it would seem a whole lot harder to actually have to use the letter in every word. Although if I wanted to write the post that comes in front of this I would certainly struggle.

I would need an alternative word for that red stuff that pumps through your veins, pushed around using the fantastic, strong heart, taking vital nutrients and vitamins and cells to your extremities, keeping you warm, running your organs, fighting infections and healing wounds.

Claret perhaps? Though that is a little Silence of the…….youthful sheep!! πŸ˜‰

2d204-bestandworstlinky

18 Comments

  1. I have no idea what my blood type is (my doctors must know because I know they tested it for type when I had surgery a couple of years ago, but no one felt the need to pass that information on to me). And I haven’t given blood. I keep meaning to, but I don’t much care for blood and needles and somehow something always happens to stop me, which makes me feel relieved. And then I I feel guilty because my partner donates blood all the time (he is B- like you) and has probably saved more lives that superman at this point.

    • Don’t feel guilty, it is daunting at first. I am not a huge needle fan but now it doesn’t bother me at all and I was actually feeling quite fascinated watching it. You can turn your head away and not see anything. Plus think of the biscuit! πŸ˜‰ Maybe just go along one time with your partner and see the process. Some people bring their children along and I saw one proud Dad bringing his son in for his first donation! Selfishly, I also think if I give enough blood, if I ever need it, there will hopefully be enough for me!! πŸ˜€

      • Hahaha … I don’t think I’d be watching it. But I would like to do it someday. I’ll have to investigate whether or not they take blood from people with cfs (this has been my excuse for the past year, although I actually don’t know what the rules are.)

        … and I just investigated blood donation with cfs, and where I live, “any person with a past history of this disease is unable to donate blood”.

        So … not only can I not give blood now but I actually can’t give blood ever.

        I will never get my biscuit.

  2. I am the incredibly common A positive (like a third of the world I believe). I didn’t know the B neg was that rare or that it was in danger of dying out!
    I think now you’ve written without ‘a’ and ‘e’ avoiding all the other letters will be relatively easy πŸ™‚
    Glad to hear you got back safely and the flight was alright in the end.

    • I’m a bit worried about I if I’m honest, seem to use it a lot! Will need to stop talking about myself so much! πŸ˜‰ I find all the blood group stuff fascinating, the origins of humans! O neg people are the unluckiest I think, they can give blood to all other blood groups, so will be the group used in an emergency when they can’t find out the patient’s group quickly enough, but can only receive O neg blood! We did survive our flight, the wine definitely helped!! πŸ™‚

  3. I FINALLY did the allergic to ‘e’ challenge!
    http://clairehuston.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/allergic-to-e-challengetag/
    Am now off for a lie down… πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve attempted to give blood twice. The first time I nearly fainted. The second time I vomited rather violently. They told me not to come back. It made me sad, but I do have a very common blood type. I guess it’s not worth the cleanup :(.

    • Well I think you can definitely say that you have given it your best shot! πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, you have been twice and it just obviously isn’t good for your body. My mum can’t donate either. I think if you can’t do it, for whatever the reason, you absolutely shouldn’t feel bad, but if you are fit and healthy and can manage it with ease and no nasty side effects, it is a very worthwhile thing to do. There is too much guilt out there already so don’t feel sad about this!! The point is that you thought about it, and went not once but twice!! πŸ™‚

  5. This has given me a kick up the bottom. I used to donate a lot but haven’t since I had my little boy. I shall find when I can next do it in my area. Great post #bestandworst xx

    • Oh fab! Well done lovely. It is honestly a lovely break too, I’m always thrilled when I hear there is a long wait, means I can sit and read in peace, drink a hot cuppa, eat my own biscuit and the kids will be in slumber when I get home….bliss! πŸ˜‰ Plus it is such a worthy cause no-one can say you took too long…….so who is to know if you pop to the supermarket to look at clothes for half an hour after!x

  6. If I remember rightly my blood group is A. At the moment the thing that is stopping me giving blood is my mental health, but when I was younger and (mentally) bale to give blood, I never did because I always believed you couldn’t if your tattooed. It is very difficult even now to find clear advice about the times and reasons you may not give blood. I think they would do themselves a favour if this information was far more readily available, rather than people having to research it as many will simply not have the time or inclination to do so.

    • You are so right, they need to make it easier to find the info out. The official guidelines states that you are unable to donate if; “You’ve had a tattoo, semi-permanent make up or any cosmetic treatment that involves skin piercing in the last 4 months.” which is taken from the give blood website. So it is possible. I will have to miss my next one as I have an appointment for september for a tattoo, but will ok again for feb/march. http://www.blood.co.uk/giving-blood/who-cant-give-blood/ This is where I got my info. I think there is a lot of belief that if you have any tattoos at all you can never donate again. Which is such a shame because if you can handle the pain and needles of a tattoo then giving blood is nothing! πŸ˜€

      • Ah, that really does rule me out then, for the near future anyway, as I am having work done on my back piece approximately every 3 months. It does seam strange that with the rules and regulations for uk based tattooists now, why the rules are so strict.

        • The nurse said they assume they are all bad & so test accordingly. Which I agree is strange. Also you could hide a fresh tattoo and lie if you really wanted to, plus the rules on different things like who you have slept with, you’re not to know if your husband is having an affair with another man for example!

  7. This is a fab post and a really good reminder for me to go! It has been years. I think I was put off a bit as I felt awful for the whole evening afterwards but that really isn’t much of an excuse really. Thanks for the guide and for sharing with #bestandworst. See you soon lovely xx

    • I think the trick is to drink loads of water all day and then load up on cake the afternoon before! That is my tactic. I felt a little odd in the supermarket after but more tiny bit tipsy then poorly. Thanks for running the link. πŸ™‚

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