I decided this week’s new challenge would be ‘Giving Blood’. I’ve never done this before but have wanted to for ages. Therefore with a best mate of mine Emma in town, who is an experienced blood donor I ceized the opportunity and asked her if she may like to take me for my first experience!
We had a big lunch, drank heaps of water and headed to the Hervey Bay Blood Bank. After filling in our forms we had our blood pressure taken, followed by a finger prick test to read if our Haemoglobin levels were within a healthy range and were then taken into the blood taking room.
As Emma was quicker than me with the paperwork being a regular donor you can imagine my surprise when walking in and finding her nearly upside down, legs in the air, ice pack on her arm and damp cloth on her forward!!! I just thought OMG what am I in for deciding whether it would be rude or not to giggle at Emma!!!! Poor Emma’s experience didn’t go as well as usual this time (even though she still had a smile on her face!), but being such a great mate I busted her in this amusing position saying to the nurses “quick, quick get me right before Jeanette comes in and sees” (not wanting me to freak out!) then saying, “see I told you she would take a photo!”
Next it was my turn. I was a little nervous before I had even seen Emma and had already gone to the toilet 3 times as you have to drink heaps of water, 2L is recommended! I was fine with the needle, everything was going well, the nurse asked me how I was feeling and I said maybe a little light headed but that could be due to nerves. I then mentioned that my hands were starting to sweat, she decided that was enough for my first time. They took 270ml out which I thought was not too bad for my first go.
1 in 3 Australians will need blood products.
1 in 30 Australians give blood.
Donating blood – Giving blood takes just 5-10 minutes but you should allow about an hour from arrival to departure, which includes time for your interview and refreshments. You’ll feel a small pinch as the needle goes in, but it feels no worse than a pinch on the inside of your elbow. If you’re nervous about donating blood, let our staff know.
Safety – All equipment is sterile; needles are used only once and then discarded. In the great majority of individuals, a donation of 470mL is less than 10% of your total body volume and may be given safely every 12 weeks. Your body keeps on discarding and replenishing blood all the time whether you give blood or not, so this amount is quickly replenished.
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Not the best odds, so get involved!