How, and Why, To give Blood

Giving blood is something that most people are aware of, yet few rarely do. We are huge advocates of donating blood here at Phlebotomy Training Services, so we wanted to take a minute to talk about what donating blood actually entails, and how to go about doing it.
The blood you donate is used in transfusions and is regularly used to save and prolong lives. There is always a call for blood donations. 6000 donations of blood are needed every single day in order to fulfil requirements. Unfortunately, every year 200,000 people become ineligible to donate blood. This could be due to age, or medical circumstances. This is why there is a constant need for blood donations.
It is important for all people donate blood. This is because there are several blood groups. These are, A, B, O and AB. These blood types are specific, and cross contamination can be lethal, as the two blood types will attack each other. Except for blood type O, which, due to its make-up, can be given to any other type of blood group.
Typically once the blood is taken it is broken down into its component parts: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. By doing so the components can be used where they are most needed at any given time. As mentioned the blood and component parts you donate will inevitably be used in transfusions. In a study carried out in 2014 in hospitals the use of blood was broke down like so:
• 67% was used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders
• 27% was used in surgery, including cardiac surgery and emergency surgery
• 6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth
So how do you give blood? It’s actually very simple. First start by registering online at (while there it is worth checking if you are actually eligible to donate). Once you are registered find an appointment which suits you location and time wise. When you arrive you will be given a drink and taken through a health screening. Once this has been done you are sat comfortably somewhere. A small needle is inserted into your arm which will collect just under a pint of blood (470ml), which typically takes around 5-10 minutes. Once this is done you will be patched up and sent on your way. It really is that simple, and the blood you donate could go on to save any number of lives.
To find out more about being a phlebotomist, and the courses we offer, just call us on 01609 751 610.