If you’re over 17 and are thinking about donating blood, here’s what you need to know!
Did you know that giving blood can save up to three lives? The NHS needs these donations every day to help save people who need urgent emergency care or long-term treatments. Any one of us could need this life-saving blood at any time in our lives. That’s why it’s so crucial to give blood if you can – you can literally save lives.
Who Can Give Blood?
Most people can give blood, but there are some exceptions. You can give blood if you’re:
- Fit and healthy
- Weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs and 25 stone, or 50kg and 158kg
- Aged between 17-66 (or 70 if you have given blood before)
- Over 70 and have given a full blood donation in the last two years
You can’t give blood if you:
- Are HIV positive or are receiving treatment for AIDS
- Are a hepatitis B carrier
- Are a hepatitis C carrier
- Are HTLV positive
- Have ever been diagnosed with syphilis, even if treated
- Have ever injected, or been injected with, drugs, even if it was a long time ago or only once. This includes body-building drugs, injected tanning agents and injected chemsex drugs.
- Have had more than 1 sexual partner, AND you have had anal sex with any of those partners
To check if you’re eligible to give blood, click here.
How To Register
You’ll need to register with the blood donor database before you can give blood. You’ll be asked a few simple questions about your age, weight and medical history. Click the links below to register in:
Northern Ireland https://nibts.hscni.net/
What Should I Expect?
Giving blood only takes around an hour and many blood donation venues are open in the evenings, which makes it easier to fit into your day. Make sure you have something to eat and drink before going to donate to avoid feeling faint. On arrival, you’ll be met by a friendly health professional who will chat with you to make sure you’re eligible to donate. They will then test your blood to make sure you’re not anaemic. If everything is fine, you’ll be taken to a hospital bed to lie down, where you can relax while your blood is taken.
After you have given blood, you’ll be taken to a seating area where you can have a sweet cup of tea and a biscuit to help bring your blood sugar levels back up. And that’s it! If you’d like to find out more about blood donation or have any further questions, visit https://www.blood.co.uk/.