As you’re reading this, millions of people around the world are in urgent need of a blood transfusion. A timely donation of the correct blood type can literally prove the difference between life and death for a patient, and what many people don’t realize is that blood donation is a very brief and simple process which can have life-saving consequences.
Just one unit of blood can give three people a renewed chance at life, while the entire donation process takes less than an hour from entering to leaving the clinic. In other words, giving up one unit and one hour of your life to donate blood can prevent three other people from dying. If you knew it was that easy, would you not be willing to give blood?
Shockingly, nine out of 10 people who are medically suitable to give blood aren’t doing so. Would they see it differently if a friend or family member urgently required a donation? Those who do give blood often speak of feeling satisfied afterwards, knowing that their small sacrifice could make the world of difference to another person.
This infographic from Union Quay Medical Centre (http://www.unionquaymedicalcentre.ie/general-practice.html) maps out the key details of blood transfusion, including a step-by-step guide to the process and the compatibility of blood types. It also lists the situations where a person would not be eligible to give blood – for instance, anyone who has had a tattoo or piercing, or who has been to a foreign country, in recent months is advised not to donate.
If you have decided to give blood, firstly well done! Secondly, keep in mind that there’s more to it than turning up at the clinic and letting the medics take a blood sample. Avoid strenuous activity and alcohol consumption for at least a day after giving blood. If you feel dizzy or light-headed, take a rest. You deserve it after doing something which could save another human’s life.