Giving blood is something I’ve done on and off for the past five years and not as often as I could have. Peter, a former colleague organised a minivan load of us to visit Blood Donors and since moving workplaces a couple of times I’ve continued the habit.
I’m not sure why I didn’t actually start a lot sooner. Last Thursday I met an acquaintance who had donated for over 40 years. I have a long way to go.
I have a few reasons for donating blood:
- It is a good caused that helps a lot of people who need blood products
- Health, as per Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Body and other articles about the health benefits of giving blood.
- Because I can.
Each time one goes to give blood there is a form to fill out about what I’ve been up to since the last donation, the last year, three months and weeks. It was while I was reading the information and filling in the form last time that I realised that there are a lot of people that are not able to give blood. There are a lot more folks now that have tattoos and there is a stand down period for that. Had a cold last week? Your out. Visited certain countries in the past year? That could take you out too. I watched one former colleague try but not be able due to her slight build, even though she was allowed.
There are a lot more details on the New Zealand Blood Service web site and they have a handy video too.
A good supply of blood and blood products is essential to our health system and yes, doing something so simple is a way to feel good by helping others.
Oh, if needles and the sight of blood etc. make you squeamish then don’t worry about that. The team are very good at putting donors at ease. You can also have a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit or two afterwards too. Thanks to Peter for getting me started.
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