Could you be a blood donor too?

GENEROUS donors from Gainsborough came out in large numbers once again to give blood and save countless lives – and you can do the same.

Residents descended upon The Weston Rooms in Gainsborough, taking just a little time out of their day to make a huge difference to the world.

Staff from the the National Blood Service at the Weston Rooms in Gainsborough G110527-1a

Staff from the the National Blood Service at the Weston Rooms in Gainsborough G110527-1a

I recently gave blood myself – something I was dreading as I have a horrendous fear of blood and needles.

Thankfully, my anxiety was shortlived as friendly nurses were on hand to give a warm welcome and a heavy dose of reassurance.

After filling in some forms and going through the motions of having the procedure described to me, we arrived at the sum of all my nightmares – the painful part.

I can honestly say, however, that the pain was minimal – little more than a scratch. I barely noticed it, and before I knew it, the whole thing was over.

About an hour later, I was patched up and feeling fine, comfortable in the knowledge that such a seemingly small gesture in such a short window of time could go on and have such a positive and widespread impact.

Nathan Mantell, from Tower Street, Gainsborough, was just one of the many other locals who took the time to give blood.

“This is my fourth time as a blood donor,” he said.

“I just like doing it and it makes me feel good. You’re saving lives and you get free biscuits!”

He continued: “It’s quite quick really – it seems to come straight out of me. It’s a lot easier than you think. If you’re considering giving blood, I’d say ‘just do it’.”

“It feels great to walk away knowing that you’ve saved someone’s life.”

NHS Blood and Transplant donor relations manager Holly Mason was also at The Weston Rooms to give blood herself.

“It’s extremely important and we really depend on volunteers to come forward,” she said.

“So, if the general public don’t get involved, then there just wouldn’t be the blood that’s so desperately needed by local hospitals.”

Holly said that giving blood is a very straight-forward process and would recommend that anyone who is able to should donate.

“As long as people are in good health, then there shouldn’t be any problem,” said Holly.

“The staff here are lovely and make people feel at ease, so it really is quite easy.”

She continued: “You never know when you or someone you know will need blood, but we’d all want it to be there.”

“It only takes an hour out of your day, and because we split the blood into three different components, that one quick donation could go on to save the lives of three different people.”

Holly added: “All of the blood distributed here today will be distributed to local hospitals around this part of the region. Lincolnshire hospitals use about 1,000 units of blood per week, and hopefully we can collect about 100 units from this session.”

Donor care supervisor Deborah Malliband was on hand to reassure that the donation process was quick, easy and an essential part of saving lives in Lincolnshire. “A donor can come along to session once every four months,” she said.

“Once they’re here and we’ve got their details and addressed any general medical queries then we lay them on a bed, find a suitable vein and the donation takes about 10 minutes.”

She continued: “We also do a blood test for hepatitis A, B and C as well as HIV and syphilis.”

“We get lots of people returning, so it can’t be that bad! The pain is short, sharp and minimal and not many people complain.”

Deborah added: “We always need new donors, and it’s often the not knowing what really happens that stops people coming, but once people have been they usually come back.”

So there you have it: one hour, minimal pain, free tea and biscuits and the chance to save up to three people’s lives in one go.

Why don’t you do something amazing and give blood?

n To register or for more information on blood donation and when and where your nearest session is, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

To see The Gainsborough Standard’s video report on a recent local blood session visit www.gainsboroughstandard.co.uk.