People are being asked to give blood as one of their New Year’s resolutions to help save lives.
By giving up just one hour of your time you could save or improve up to three lives.
Proud (43%), helpful (42%) and happy (38%) are the top three words people chose to describe how they feel after their most recent donation.
A survey carried out by NHS Blood and Transplant highlights confusion and myths about who is able to donate. Of the 2,126 adults surveyed, 20% believed it was true that having a tattoo would prevent them from donating, 16% felt the same about piercings, 15% believed that you can’t donate if you smoke and 3% thought vegetarians wouldn’t be able to donate.
Potential donors should check the donation criteria on the blood.co.uk website.
While people currently need to wait four months after a new tattoo or piercing, there are no specific criteria preventing smokers or vegetarians from donating.
Many people who believe they can’t donate, may discover they can.
NHS Blood and Transplant always needs first time donors to replace those who can’t donate any more, and to ensure they have the right mix of blood groups to meet patient needs. More than half of current blood donors are aged over 45 so it’s especially important that younger people are recruited to donate blood now and in the years to come.
By becoming a blood donor you can help ensure that patients have access to the blood they need, when they need it. NHS Blood and Transplant needs donors from all blood groups and communities but is particularly looking for new donors from black and Asian communities, and donors with the universal blood group O negative.
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. Visit www.blood.co.uk, download a give blood app, search ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store or contact 0300 123 23 23.