To accept even though I'm not willing to give?

(267 Posts)
StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:33:22

I was going to dress this up but i think better blunter.

Although I'm worried about a flaming.

Im very squeamish and quite unwilling to give blood due to that fact.

If i was to need a transfusion in the future, would it be unethical to accept?

When I'm dead, anyone is welcome to any part of my body and I've made damn sure I'm on the donor register and everyone knows ill haunt them if they refuse on my behalf when I'm dead.

Blood however, while alive, I'm not sure.

sydlexic Sat 19-Jan-13 19:36:26

YANBU if it would cause you too much distress or fainting. Hopefully you do not just take in all areas of your life.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 19-Jan-13 19:37:39

Can only speak for myself, but if I was able to give blood (I can't for medical reasons) - I would be happy for it to go to whoever needed it whether or not they also donated. TBH it's not something I would even have thought about it had I been able to donate.

MrsBW Sat 19-Jan-13 19:38:39

I give blood.

I don't do it on condition that only people that donate, receive my blood.

No - it's not unethical.

DieWilde13 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:39:06

You can just not donate, you know.
I think being squeamish is a bit of a cheap excuse, though. You might as well say you can't be bothered.
I don't particularly enjoy giving blood, I just do it because my dad is alive because of some very generous stranger donating. I also donate because I am selfish: if anything ever happens to me or dh/dcs, I want there to be blood for them.

MrsMcEnroe Sat 19-Jan-13 19:39:16

That's OK OP. It is your blood. You get to decide what you do with it.

I am sure others will feel differently, particularly those who have needed blood transfusions to survive. But their feelings don't negate yours; and I'm sure that most blood donations are given without any conditions attached!

MrsBW Sat 19-Jan-13 19:39:34

And by the way - you're doing a very good thing being on the donor register and making sure your family are aware of your wishes, so they don't override.

berri Sat 19-Jan-13 19:41:16

Maybe make a donation to a blood charity as I'm sure they need funds for all their equipment etc as well as the blood?

ZooAnimals Sat 19-Jan-13 19:41:17


It's a good thing to do and if you can get over your squeamishness then do go and give blood, but it's fine if you don't want to.

greenpostit Sat 19-Jan-13 19:41:37

I'm not sure. There are so many of us who can't give blood for medical reasons (me included although I have given blood in the past) that it seems a shame that people who medically could don't donate. That said, if it is going to cause you that much stress and anxiety, then perhaps you do actually fall into the category of unable to donate on medical grounds.

greenpostit Sat 19-Jan-13 19:43:23

Oh and yanbu to accept blood in future. It's for everyone regardless of anything - even murderers in prison! So you need not feel bad accepting.

MrsLouisTheroux Sat 19-Jan-13 19:45:15

No, YANBU. You can 'give' in other ways.

I can't donate as I've received blood transfusions as a child.

MrsLouisTheroux Sat 19-Jan-13 19:47:53

I think being squeamish is a bit of a cheap excuse, though. You might as well say you can't be bothered. Not true. DH passes out EVERY TIME he has an injection or blood taken. Nurse books him an 3/4 hour slot so he can wake up recover.

They won't take it from anyone who faints or is in distress anyway.

elliejjtiny Sat 19-Jan-13 19:50:42

YANBU. I can't give blood because I have rubbish veins and it would be a waste of my/their time (blood tests are a nightmare and I am waiting to find out when I will be sent for the 7th attempt at getting my pregnancy booking bloods). I used to volunteer to serve the tea and biscuits to the people giving blood when I was in st john ambulance so I feel like I contributed a bit.

Nivet Sat 19-Jan-13 19:52:05

I think the nurses in the donor teams would rather you didn't try to donate if you are truly squeamish.

I donate blood all the time, I don't mind needles and I like a lie down and a cup of tea grin I couldn't give a flying fuck who gets my blood. Donors or non-donors.

If it helps I'll do the next pint in your honour?

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 19-Jan-13 19:52:26

I don't give blood, it makes me ill for about a week!

I understand how you feel.

Although my friend was turned down once because he was gay so I think they're quite picky anyway.

I'm not sure what the criteria are, you may not even be allowed to.

Don't feel bad.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 19:56:02

Well glad I'm not totally U!

I used to have to look Way from blood on tele, not just RL until i had a miscarriage and then i wasn't so bad (i wont make people sick with details but i caught the foetus and looked at it, i was 9 weeks so it was quite visible)

But the thought of sitting there for 10 mins sucking blood out of me.
Make me feel weak just thinking about it.

I do give to society other ways, although I've not cured cancer yet wink

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 19-Jan-13 19:58:54


As you have said,you give in other ways.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 20:04:11

I can't give blood, but if I could I'd look at the bigger picture.
We have had so many posters on here that have had dying children and if Id been able to have that small prick in my arm I'd have done it.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 20:07:54

I can't give blood, but if I could I'd look at the bigger picture.
We have had so many posters on here that have had dying children and if Id been able to have that small prick in my arm I'd have done it.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:13:32

I give blood. I'm squeamish and hate needles. I really do. I have to tell the phlebotomist, over and over. Every single time.

My daughter died of cancer. She was barely 9. I can't tell you how much she hated needles. Even with the creams and sprays, she would scream the most heart-rending screams you could ever hear and have to be held down. But she had to do it. All those finger pricks and cannulas and central line and such. My heart died every single time a needle went into that child.

So I keep going, every quarter - going next Thursday and hope they don't turn me down because I was in the US over Xmas into first week in January - because without the donors who gave so much blood to my child she would have been dead in days rather than the 7 months and 29 days we got with her.

I can't say you are being unreasonable, but I wish there were more blood donors out there for the thousands of children with cancer who benefit from donations every single day.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:15:40

Okay i'll certainly think some more on it.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:17:33

I take some photos of her along now, and just turn away, and think of her and all the little ones we met in her unit, the corridors echoing with their screams sometimes at night, from whatever ailed them as side effect of their wretched disease.

Strong? Brave? They had no choice. 'Can a man be brave is he is afraid?' 'That is the only time a man can be brave.'

I understand some people have phobias.

I wish there were a better way to get blood out of suitable donors. But there isn't.

So off I go taking very deep breaths and my photos of her.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:19:07

Just think about it!

TBH, every quarter when I get my little letter I sort of sag smile.

But hey, needs must. And I think of how amazing those children are and it sort of buoys me up. If they can do it, so can I!

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:22:43

Ohhhhh expat! What are ya doin to me!

Ive just had a look.
I had suspected hep c after a holiday.

If i can .. I will.

Ive never looked at the page about if you can give and im well under the weight resctriction too.

So im thinking they might not want mine.

I'll see if i can donate and if i can i will.

If i do it once and have it will i have helped?
Or is tha poor show??

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:25:09

Ive had a look... 6th feb ....

Ill go along.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:25:52

Am so so grateful to all fellow donors out there. Thank you so much! You don't realise, with that needle, that you are, very literally, saving peoples' lives!

TheSecondComing Sat 19-Jan-13 20:26:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:27:37

Oh bloody hell i was so adamant this couldn't happen.

Imagine of my dh needed blood?
Would i want to give some of mine then.


SugarPasteSnowflake Sat 19-Jan-13 20:28:19

I'm squeamish, have zero pain threshold and hate needles. But my resolutions for 2013 were to join the organ donor register - which I have - and to give blood - which I did for the first time last week.

I was quite scared and secretly hoping that they wouldn't find me suitable, thus letting me off the hook with a clear conscience! However I passed the assessment so no such luck grin

It honestly wasn't that bad. The actual blood donation itself was over and done with in 6 minutes- I was really surprised! Yes the needle part wasn't nice but it was no worse than a blood test. There's no messing about trying to find an "in" (I have very shy veins!) as they are all very experienced in getting a line in you quickly.

You don't see the bag and because you are laying down you don't have to look at your arm either. I took a book as a distraction but it's done so quickly that next time I probably won't bother. The biscuits afterwards were very tasty i nearly offered to give them another pint in exchange for more biscuits

All in all it was quite straightforward and I came away feeling pretty proud of myself. I really don't like needles and honestly I'm so squeamish it's untrue, so I felt that it had been a bit of a leap for me.

I am of the school of thought that if you'd be willing to receive then you should be prepared to give, but that said it's not for everyone and you are free not to if you feel that you can't. But it was totally different to what I thought would happen smile

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:28:30

Once is enough. One pint saves a person. Go along or ring the line.

My aunt contracted HepC in the 70s, before screening. She was struck by a car at a pedestrian crossing and lost her left femur and the left side of her pelvis (they are metal). But she is still here with us, a beloved mother, grandmother and sister.

If they can't take it they'll let you know.

SugarPasteSnowflake Sat 19-Jan-13 20:30:50

Oh and when I say I have almost zero pain threshold I'm not joking - the docs and nurses at my surgery have said I am the wimpiest adult they've met! [Blush]

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 20:30:53

It's a great feeling, isn't it, TheSecond? Magic! I just tell the phelbotomist, believe me, they're very experienced. The past few times I've hardly felt a thing.

It saves lives! It saves the lives of thousands of children every day.


LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 20:31:41

What a brilliant thread that the Op is rethinking it.
I have HepC but my ds doesn't. He'll be 18 this year and off to university, and I'll actively encourage him.
StickemUp you're a star.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:36:52

Okay, I'm doing it.

Ive always been weird about thinking id probably like some blood to live if needed, but too scared to give.

I learnt how to drive recently and i keep thinking ... Its another thing where i might hurt myself and need that damn blood.

sugar that doesn't sound weird i thought it would be 15 mins or summit!

dh just said his nanny got a certificate on her 500th time of giving shock

VenusRising Sat 19-Jan-13 20:45:59

I can't give blood as I had hepatitis, but I'm an organ donor.
My DSis died suddenly and her organs saved three lives.

We all do our best I think.

So sorry expat, hope you all had a good Xmas.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 20:50:10

I just made an appt, well applied for it, I had to register, it said a confirmation would be set.

6Th Feb.

mellowcat Sat 19-Jan-13 20:50:11

I have a horrible fear of veins, even typing the word makes me wibble, but from being on here I have signed up for Anthony Nolan and given blood twice. The first time was a walk in the park, but the second didn't go so well and I still have discoloured skin a couple of months later where the bruising was. I am dreading going back, but I will because of the children that I have learnt about on here. Not to guilt trip you or anything, but I hope you are able to go to.

( get a really cute key fob on the second time you donate.)

My mum took me along to my first donor session when I was 18. Discovered that I was O neg, which of course they're always keen to have.

I try and go regularly now, particularly as my mum can no longer donate as she's had treatment for breast cancer.

And I really hate the whole process, am really squeamish about needles, but it's worth it!

YANBU, I was going to say that just after reading the OP as you're on the Organ donor register. All organ donors are saints to me.
Now I read on you are an angel - good luck!

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 20:59:16

You are rather brave and pretty amazing Op.
From you're Op to this is rather wonderful.
Keep in touch and there'll be many who'll hold your hand.

MikeOxardInTheSnow Sat 19-Jan-13 21:02:13

I am alive because of people who gave blood, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has donated. You are all heros.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:05:07


Is there anyone out there who is also squeamish about Blood donation fancy doing it with me?

We do it ONCE! If we like it, we carry on. Or not!

If we don't, well have done it ONCE and we can say we tried. And we will have given some blood which will help



TwoCatsAndABabyBump Sat 19-Jan-13 21:05:12

I hate hate hate needles. Took me 24 years to get up enough courage to give blood but I forced myself to go as I felt guilty that I could but didn't.

It actually isn't all that bad tbh. The worst part for me is the finger prick at the beginning. I worry about that more than anything now!

I have rubbish veins and slow blood. Can take a couple of goes to get the needle in me and I can be sat there for well over half an hour and not even have a full bag. I don't feel well afterwards and have to take it easy but not bad enough to stop donating.

It doesn't really hurt after the needle is in place and I get a weird satisfaction at watching the tube go red!

I'm now pregnant and sad that I can't give blood for a while yet but as soon as I am able to again I will. It is my way of giving back to those that need help.

Didn't mean to go on for so long sorry, but if people could at least give it a go and then afterwards don't want to do it again, fair enough, you've tried, it's not for you but thank you for trying, or, if it's not as bad as you thought and you can face going back, the more the merrier!

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:06:28

(fucking hell I can't believe I was looking for someone to tell me not donating is okay and now I have made an appt. MUMSNET. HUMPH!!!)

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:07:31

MIKE Bloody hell, so it IS all for something.
I'm having a tear moment. DH looks concerned.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 21:11:34

Of course it is OP.
Every little bit makes a difference, you could save a life

PleasePudding Sat 19-Jan-13 21:13:02

I give blood, although not at the moment as pregnant. In a really weird way I find it relaxing (which I certainly wasn't expecting). I think it's the having to lie down and do nothing for 5-10 minutes and then have some biscuits and tea.

Go StickEmUp go! That is pretty amazing facing your fear!

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:14:28

You get tea! With 2 Sugars??

And please I haven't done it yet, I've not faced it yet but hopefully I will.

they better not tell me I can't now!! Would anyone believe me anyway???!!!!

crazycanuck Sat 19-Jan-13 21:14:31

Hurray OP! What a wonderful turnaround!

expat I got over my squeamishness when following your posts about your beautiful dd. I go for my 2nd donation in 2 weeks. And as long as I'm able I'll be in there every quarter.

mummyplonk Sat 19-Jan-13 21:15:10

Expat your post has really moved me, it's a bit late in the month but this is a New Years resolution that should have been done years ago. I will definitely make an appt this week too. I have a phobia of having my wrists touched but sounds like this shouldn't be an issue based on what others have said.

meditrina Sat 19-Jan-13 21:16:15

I give blood because I think it's the right thing to do, and I don't give a flying fuck about the personality of the recipient (even if a mass murderer) or whether they have ever donated; just that they are someone in need.

Though I did like the Transfusion Service's campaign You're never too busy to receive blood

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:16:30

mummy come back (if you like) and tell us when the appt is.

Together, we'll do it!
Just once, Mummy, just once wink

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:19:29

Stickemup, I'm with you. Going to look into it this week. I have low bp and giving blood sample is a mare because I ave very deep-set, thin veins and borderline underweight bmi.

Can I still do it?

Expat, your posts took my breath away. Going to organ register too.

mummyplonk Sat 19-Jan-13 21:20:38

Okay stickemup, am looking on the website now, if you can do it so can I.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:22:21

perma Lovely. Welcome abroad the 'Scaredy Donators' thread.

My BMI is low too I said up thread but hopefully I'll have enough blood.

Make the Appt and they will let you know if you can do it.
I am not sure there or in writing first.

but let's try wink

I'm so happy!

ZZZenAgain Sat 19-Jan-13 21:22:55

they are always keen to get my blood, it seems O is one they don't get enough of. I am not squeamish about it so it is easier for me than you OP but I just get on with it, it is like a trip to the dentist. It isn't enjoyable having a needle stuck into your vein, in particular when they take a few prods before they get one! Inserting the needle takes a couple of seconds and then you just lie still till they're done.Don't look at the blood, close your eyes and think about something else. I am a bit woozy afterwards when I first sit up so I take it easy for a bit but I don't feel ill or anything like that.

Friend of dh's felt a bit ill one day ,aged 25, otherwise in perfect health you'd think. Luckily for him, both parents were doctors and realised it was serious, rushed him to hospital and he needed an enormous blood transfusion otherwise he would have died.

You never know when one of your dc is going to need an operation and you'd want enough blood there if needed, wouldn't you?

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:23:04


We can do it, I know we can.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:24:07

ZZZ I dont have children but if it was DH, of course.
That's what made me think on.

ZZZenAgain Sat 19-Jan-13 21:25:23

I didn't mean you personally stick. "You" as in "one" IYSWIM.

I've never given blood. I have had problems having blood tests - I'm not squeamish, but have thrown up once and am difficult to get a vein on.

I now feel quite sad that I have never given blood as I had to have a transfusion after DD was born and am therefore banned from giving blood.

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:28:13

Right, just looked:

I don't weigh enough = going to have a kit Kat AND a cake, I need to lay down some fat for winter.

Just come off antibs = be ok in a weeks time

Have acupuncture regularly = is with a qualified practitioner, just need to check she belongs to the correct body of acups.

Am going to do this, darn it, or try my very best.

Come on stickemup and mummy, what a great thread.

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:30:54

Not 'come one' supposed to say 'nice one'!

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:31:08

perma I'm well worried I'm too underweight now.

Where did you find that out?

I saw on the official site it depends on how much blood is in your system to start.
And us smaller peeps might have too little to take.

So you might be okay?

I better be I'm all psyched up now!

(oh and I've got home made brownie and thick cream LOL)

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:21

You south or north, stickemup, I may come round for the brownie........��

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:33:38
StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:34:16

As south as you can possibly get ... I can see the sea from my flats front Window grin

Do come over wink

MyLastDuchess Sat 19-Jan-13 21:35:01

Good for you! It's really such an important thing you're doing.

I had a serious post-partum haemorrhage when I had my first child, lost 3 litres before they were eventually able to stop it (under general anaesthetic). I would have survived without a blood transfusion, but it helped me to bounce back really quickly and enjoy those first few days with my new baby as much as I could. I remember watching the donated blood drip slowly into my arm and being so grateful that the blood was there when I needed it.

Ironically I am now unable to give blood, having received a transfusion (and I wasn't allowed to anyway as I have previously lived in the UK - they wouldn't accept my blood here as they are worried about BSE).

I did give blood before moving here though. It really wasn't that bad. And they give you biscuits afterwards grin

But enough about me - I just wanted to give another example of how blood donations help real people. My story doesn't compare to expat's beloved DD of course, but the help from the donors really meant a lot to me.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:35:28

Well that's fucked it

You do not weigh over 50kgs (7st 12).

I dont.

I'm going to cry. Really, I might.

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:35:33

Be there in 7 hours! Shame, I may just have 2 kitkats instead (4 fingers). Enjoy the choc brownie. I'm going to register with the website and go from there.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:36:22

It's in the 'may' section though.

SugarPasteSnowflake Sat 19-Jan-13 21:36:53

Good for you op! There's lots of form filling to do and they will do a finger prick to check your iron, plus a health questionnaire.

Make sure you wee before you go; they like you to drink 500ml of water while you wait as studies have shown that this increases the blood pressure slightly and so helps stop you feeling dizzy or faint. Between that and the tea afterwards I couldn't wait to go to the loo!

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:37:02

Sorry xpost, how far off 7.12 are you? I reckon if you're not too tall, they'll consider you?

weegiemum Sat 19-Jan-13 21:38:28

They don't accept my blood. Because I ger a blood product once a month as a treatment for my neuro disability. Though I get it free, I can't opt in to giving (though dh and my parents do).

But with my IVIg treatment I can walk, talk, work, etc (all the stuff the bloody Tories want me to do!!

NippyDrips Sat 19-Jan-13 21:38:47

I have thought about donating a few times but am actually registering now. Great thread.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:39:08

Not too far, I am healthy according to the doctor so it's not an issue (I have had flack on here for being so small. I am healthy!!) but might be with blood amounts.

I'll just have to see.

SugarPasteSnowflake Sat 19-Jan-13 21:41:30

X post - don't cry op. The thought was there which is the main thing

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:43:10

Well I feel a bit humiliated now! I've publicly turned my thoughts around only to be gazumped on it all ... and who knows if I am telling the truth or not ... !!!

Maybe if someone else manages to do it as a result of this, something has been done.

boo hoo to me.

permaquandry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:45:23

I'm guessing the weight thing is connected with amount of blood in your body? why don't you register and see what they say?

Don't be upset stickemup, you should feel proud that you've spurred 2 people on to do it, that's fab. thanks

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 21:47:17

Bloody hell, now I am thinking it's not MY Choice NOT to donate, I'm more up for it than ever!

I registered a few a few mins ago so will see what happens.

hellsbells76 Sat 19-Jan-13 21:56:57

I haven't donated for ages (no excuse, just general crapness and disorganisedness) but inspired by this thread I've just made an appt for a week Monday. So OP even if you are too underweight, I'll donate in your honour because if it hadn't been for you I'd probably have carried on procrastinating over it for another 5 years or something blush

SushiPaws Sat 19-Jan-13 22:00:37

I give blood regularly. I don't like needles and I panic like crazy before. But I feel so proud of myself after its worth it. The nurses are amazing, they sit and chat with you so you're not alone if you feel woozy.

I was on the weight border the first time I donated but they said it was fine.

Good luck op, first time is the hardest on the nerve but it gets easier.

Almostfifty Sat 19-Jan-13 22:02:51

OP, I used to give blood back in the day when I was all of six and a half stone wet through and never noticed any problems (I used to lie about my weight, though I wouldn't do that now). I'm tiny, so to me it was the same as any normal weight person.

I am now well over eight stone and will be going next week. They've refused me a few times, but I keep trying.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 19-Jan-13 22:04:44

Don't feel bad, OP. I used to have a colleague who felt the same way and has said she will donate her body.

I give blood, lots of people do. It's a nice thing to do but it's not mandatory that everybody must. Agree with the posters who say that the first time is the 'worst' if there is such a thing, because you don't know the routine. After that, it is just routine.

I do think that the time for giving it could be shortened though... 16 weeks just seems a ridiculously long time.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 19-Jan-13 22:14:45

Yanbu but if at all you do manage to get the nerve up to do it, and if you can, then you can be really proud of yourself for having contributed to saving a life. My life was saved by blood transfusions and I think of the lovely anonymous random donors every single day. I needed 20 packs over about a week. I will never forget what those people, some of whom will no doubt have had needle phobia, or various reasons for putting off donation , but the day they went to that blood van they saved a stranger's life. Mine. They're amazing.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 22:16:27

petite you've made me tear up :'(

pixwix Sat 19-Jan-13 22:21:08

stickemup You might not beable to donate yourself, but this thread
just prompted me to call the donor helpline. I'm now just 8 stone, (wasn't sure how much I weighed!) but thought I couldn't donate because of the asthma meds. Spoke to a nice advisor, who took me through some questions re my steroid use, symtoms and stuff, and it turns out I CAN donate grin

I now have a donor number, and am going to donate on Thurs 31st Jan at 1.45pm - so thanks for the prompt!

PetiteRaleuse Sat 19-Jan-13 22:24:39

Sorry. Can I also say that when I was admitted my wonderful DH was at home with my barely two week old DD1, so they're bloody grateful too. Well, DD1 will be when she's old enough to understand. And DD2 wouldn't be here either, of course and she's 3 months old today. I'm not trying to guilt people into donating, just trying to explain what an amazing thing donating is.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 22:28:46

I just rang the helpline and they said 7 stone 12 is the min weight.

so I cannot donate.

After how this thread started, I don't know whether to be happy or bummed, TBH


StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 22:29:51

petite don't say sorry I can't donate now but if this made other people do it then maybe I've done something.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 19-Jan-13 22:33:27

Well it's great you called. Thank you smile

DragonMamma Sat 19-Jan-13 22:42:45

Well done for trying to donate OP.

I am very squeamish but I have friends that have been saved by donations and also a friend who's 2yo is having cancer treatment so I think it's important to do my bit.

I give as regularly as I can, once you take away the exclusions for pregnancy, piercings and tattoo's but it really does get easier every time you do it. Although I still get a little knot in my stomach just before I go in.

I'm now looking in to platelet donations now grin

mummyplonk Sat 19-Jan-13 22:43:44

Stickemup, have a big sticky bun and some choccies on me, thank you for starting this thread. I have a cold at the moment but as soon as my cough has gone they will accept me too, and I promise I will do it on your behalf. X

PetiteRaleuse Sat 19-Jan-13 22:50:09

Platelets good too. There's a shortage in my area for me they had to fly some in from another hospital.

wannabedreams Sat 19-Jan-13 22:51:33

Nope, I give blood too but would not even consider what others do, it's up to you...

shockers Sat 19-Jan-13 22:59:28

I'm really squeamish, but I give blood whenever I can (which isn't as often as I'd like because my iron count is quite low).

After building it up into something massive before my first time, I felt a bit daft afterwards (and a bit proud too) blush grin.

EmpressOfThePuddle Sat 19-Jan-13 23:02:15

Stickemup, not only are you bloody brave but you're inspiring people to donate and that's brilliant.

I've tried before but been refused for being underweight. Going to get the scales out in a minute and see if I still am. Like you I'm on the donor register.

expat your posts have had me in tears.

I have a very extreme medical phobia, to the extent that when I gave birth to my first child (unplanned obviously!) I had a letter from a consultant in my notes saying my needle phobia rendered me incapable of rational decision should any intervention be required during the birth. I did manage to have most my pregnancy bloods taken though, which showed me that, despite what I had thought, I can make myself do it if I need to. Some weeks after the birth I required surgery for a breast abscess which I declined blush yet 9 months later I conceived my second child and was able to have bloods taken. My long winded point being that we can do things for our children that we can't do for even ourselves.

Anyway, if my children needed blood I know I would find a way to give it to them. If, God forbid, they were ever seriously ill like your DD expat I know I would cut off my whole bloody arm if it would help them. I registered to give blood before Christmas and made it my New Year's resolution but have been having second thoughts as the only time my DH can look after the children is during their most popular slots and I'm shitting myself that I'll turn up and not go through with it and waste an otherwise productive slot.

This thread has motivated me to find a way to give blood, because it could be any one of our loves ones who needs it sad

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 23:16:18

I never meant to make anyone feel guilty or bad. But just, if you can, really, the phlebotomists are lovely and very understanding. I get it. I really hate needles. Even now, and I've given blood, had ops, given birth, and ERPC, etc.

Just, well, my child had, and all the onco children, had to have many transfusions. Chemotherapy makes a person need blood much. And those children, oh, they're so strong. If they are in day unit they have to go for 'finger prick' to haemo.

At Yorkhill the A&E used to put up barriers for patients who knew the back way, but then stopped them for all but after the front door, knowing it was the oncos who went through there to get to haemo for their pricks before going to day unit.

For years and years, I gave blood, and always thought of car crash people in A&E's, never realising, where some of what I gave might end up.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 23:19:11

Please just try if you can and are able! Please don't be scared. I'll be happy to PM photos of my daughter, you can look at her rather than your arm, you just say her name for the needle time, I guarantee she'll help you.

She could not have lived without her donors. More can't without them.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 23:25:48

Right, I'm for Thursday at 10AM. I am not looking forward to it and they may turn me down as I was with my family in Texas, US, from 17 Dec 2012 to 6 Jan 2013, and my British husband as well.

My last donation was in October, 2012. I have been donating here and in the US, quarterly, since 1989 bar 4 pregnancies and bf'ing. Who's with me?


StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 23:26:49

I'm not!!! They won't let me.
I feel well bad!

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 23:30:40

Whoever wants a photo of my child to print out and take along to their appointment to look at, PM ME!

Am happy to give it.

My daughter is called Aillidh. On 7/7/12, she died of complications for treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia. She was 9 years old.

I can't even count the sticks of needles she had between her diagnosis, on 25/11/11/ and her death, but she was one amazingly strong person!

The children in the onco unit and in the onco units where the children of at least 3 MNers I know are being treated need us, if we can.

Happy to share her, as I always was.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Jan-13 23:32:01

Never feel bad!


But don't let your life be ruled by fear. The buck stops right here, people! Let me PM you a photo! smile

mummyplonk Sat 19-Jan-13 23:34:49

Expat and stickemup , you are both inspiring a lot of scared ladies tonight to do something very special.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 23:40:04

I just saw 4% donate blood!

that's shocking!
I was the 96% who thinks someone else will do her job for her.

Anyway I got some weight to put on.

Pass me a cream bun!

Oh, someone up thread already did grin

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 19-Jan-13 23:52:14

It's not so bad, just don't look, turn your head completely the other way so you don't see any equipment at all. And you get treats afterwards!

Can't donate anymore after i had lots of transfusions but having been on the other side i am so grateful to everyone who even trys to donate. It took one of my pals three attempts before she was finally brave enough but she was so proud after.

Even if you can't cure cancer, you could cure the person that cures cancer grin

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 19-Jan-13 23:55:26

If you really are serious my dads partner weighs about 7 stone so she shows up wearing about 3 jumpers and they've never weighed her. And when i used to donate myself i was under the limit, only just and they let me.

StickEmUp Sat 19-Jan-13 23:56:25

3 Jumpers might be doable in this bad weather!

loofet Sat 19-Jan-13 23:58:13


Had a transfusion after DC2. Wouldn't give blood (as much as I want to put back in the pot what I took out) because, to me, I have an image of me getting very weak and fainting. I'm unsure how much they take but I know how ill I felt losing blood after birth and I definitely don't ever want that again. I get dizzy spells on my period even (not anemic), so I can't imagine willingly allowing someone to drain my blood.

<shudder> It does make me cringe actually. I don't have a needle phobia at all but I do have very crap veins, have had people who actually do blood tests for a living fail on my veins and had to have a drip put in my frigging foot after failed attempts on hands and wrists after DC3. So that wouldn't help!

Nah yanbu. Its personal choice. Grateful for the donor who saved my life and all but I'm not brave enough to give back!

tittytittyhanghang Sun 20-Jan-13 00:00:33

This is a lovely thread but does it reflect bad on me that i clicked on this not at all thinking it was about blood donation but about something else? oral

Have PMed you expat

It is so helpful to hear stories of exactly why that blood is so important, thank you for sharing Aillidh with us all.

HopAndSkip Sun 20-Jan-13 10:46:02

Yanbu, i can't give blood due to being on heart medication, but even if i could, i'm not sure i would. Having just a small amount taken for testing makes me faint 9/10 times, throw up most times, and feel dizzy and nauseous for the next few hours. I get squeemish to the point that i spent half the time pushing during labour panicking about the injection after. (then a later midwife goes and bloody tells me you can deliver the placenta without one!)

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 20-Jan-13 10:56:57

I'm not allowed to give blood in the UK because I once had malaria. I live in Africa and I am part of a 'walking blood bank' here which means that if someone who is part of the bank and is your blood type needs a transfusion, then you get a call and you go straight away. YOur blood is taken and given straight to the person in need. I find this system really interesting because; you don't get if you don't donate (not that I agree with this but in a place with no safe blood supplies it's the only practical solution) and it somehow makes giving blood much more urgent and real. I know in the UK any blood given is used to save lives but there's nothing that focuses your mind more than a call to say; person X is in hospital with Y and urgently needs your blood type.

Rocknrollnerd Sun 20-Jan-13 11:07:40

BlameIt that's fascinating, do you therefore know who is receiving your blood? Does it create an implied obligation/bond <ponders>

I'm on the bone marrow register as about 15 years ago I realised that if I needed bone marrow I would be entirely reliant on it (no blood relatives apart from parents who would be too old). I figured that if I was theoretically prepared to accept bone marrow from someone I ought to be prepared to give some of mine up too. I'm horribly unsqueamish though so it wasn't a huge deal (I speak as the person who when I had to have a hysteroscopy I was asked before they started if I had any questions and I replied 'yes can you move the screen so I can watch too grin).

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 20-Jan-13 11:16:41

Rock you don't always know them but it does happen (the bank has quite a few people in it). The last person I donated for had caught malaria and was in a really serious way. I know of him but don't know him personally. There really isn't any other option here and the system seems to work quite well.

fuzzpig Sun 20-Jan-13 11:29:12

I have always wanted to donate blood, but never have, I'm 26. I wasn't able to as I was anaemic since my teens. My iron levels are good now but I have recently been diagnosed with CFS/ME Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It's not listed on the 'you cannot donate if...' page but my specialist said I have to increase my blood volume (with dietary changes) so presumably that means my blood volume is too low and it would therefore be dangerous for me to donate? sad

I am B positive, no idea if that's rare or not but am gutted that I can't donate.

What's the platelet donation thing? How does it work and are there different rules? (Sorry if I missed it upthread, am brain foggy ATM)

fuzzpig Sun 20-Jan-13 11:30:21

(Sorry there was supposed to be an 'and' in between ME and POTS)

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:23

Just wanted to say a quick but MASSIVE thank you to blood donors. I'm another one who owes you my life. I regret that I never gave blood before - I'm squeamish, well hidden veins, but I would do it now had I not had transfusions.

I had a massive haemorrhage after the birth of our daughter. I was in theatre for six hours while they tried to stop the bleeding, in which time I received two O neg and two A positive units. Were it not for you amazing people my husband would have been taking our newborn home from hospital on his own and going to the registrar to give details of one birth and one death. My baby is asleep next to me right now, breastfed, happy, 14mo. I'm a sahm and she has me all to herself instead of no mum at all. I'm an only child and my depressive mum's main focus in life. I'm in tears now! You have helped me and my family so much.

Expat, I can't imagine what you've been through. I would donate now if I could.

AlienReflux Sun 20-Jan-13 11:35:35

they won't let me give blood, because I was addicted to drugs 7 years ago, and am clear of all diseases. I wish they would, I'd happily give it.
but no YANBU, in that it's your blood, I do think though, if you got over it and did it, you would feel great.

Sal77 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:43:41

Don't feel bad! I faint EVERY TIME I have blood taken and therefore I don't donate. I hate fainting, it's an ordeal.

PigletJohn Sun 20-Jan-13 12:09:16

I've been a blood donor for quite a while, don't especially enjoy it but think it is a worthwhile thing to do.

Subsequently had a life-threatening injury and lots of other peoples' blood tipped into me, so they won't take mine any more in case one of my donors had Mad Cow.

On a related topic, I was interested to hear that if you're in the UK and need a transplant, it's best to be white European, as they have the best rates of organ donors. If you're in a group that doesn't like donating, it can make a match more difficult if you want to receive.

missalien Sun 20-Jan-13 12:14:12

I'll do it .

smileyhappymummy Sun 20-Jan-13 12:22:43

Thank you all. I am another one only alive today because of blood donors - had a 7l pph when dd1 was born and needed 15 units of blood / platelets etc. I will never forget the sense of relief as the first transfusion of o negative blood started and I stopped feeling so dizzy and sleepy - I realised I wasn't going to die after all.
Sad that I can't donate blood now because I've had a transfusion but expat I joined the Anthony nolan register because of you and ailidh. Thank you for sharing her with us.

CommunistLegoBloc Sun 20-Jan-13 14:55:03

I used to have a crippling needle phobia. It was so bad that I couldn't even say the word without feeling panic. I joined the Organ Registry as soon as I could, and had told my parents from the age of 5 I wanted to donate my organs, so I was pretty upset that I couldn't give blood.

I had therapy for my phobia and have now donated 15 pints. I've just booked an appointment for my 16th thanks to this thread. I'm bloody (hah!) proud of myself for donating - if I can do it then anyone can. The doctors who treated my phobia said it was the worst they'd ever seen.

I actually quite enjoy giving blood. Nice lie down, loads of biscuits AND it burns 500 calories! Throw in saving a life and it's a brilliant way to spend an afternoon grin

specialsubject Sun 20-Jan-13 14:57:34

nobody mentally normal LIKES needles so bin that excuse unless you have a real phobia. (and what do people with phobias do if they need injections?)

It really is not a difficult thing to do - just look the other way when the jab is done, and you don't have to look at the bag of blood. Although it is only red fluid.

BTW if you ask they will give you a local anaesthetic before they put the drain in. Obviously that jab hurts a bit, but overall I find it easier. But I still give without anaesthetic when they don't have a nurse around to do the local.

but agree, if you are going to create too much excitement, don't do it. Go learn some first aid instead.

got my silver badge recently. Very proud.

grumpyoldbookworm Sun 20-Jan-13 14:57:52

Have donated blood for years, especially after my mum was v badly injured by a hit and run. Lots of people would offer in a crisis such as the London bombs, but there are smaller crises every day. Being on the organ register is also important - and let your family know - when someone is dying it is really hard to take decisions to donate organs because it is accepting the end of the hope that it will all be ok. If they know you want to donate organs it will be just that bit easier...

specialsubject Sun 20-Jan-13 15:03:30

ps folks - if you can't donate because of being too small or other medical reasons, don't feel bad!

I was at one session where a too skinny student fainted because he was well under the weight limit, and when he recovered he said 'oh yes, that happened last time!' Not terribly smart, that.

but most people are fit enough, heavy enough and don't have a needle phobia, so suck it up and sign up.

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Sun 20-Jan-13 15:05:14

I don't and am a bit ashamed of the fact. I work in a medical lab and see the good it does. I see red cells, platelets, FFP etc. prolong and improve the lives of patients, I see trauma patients who would be dead without emergency transfusions. I put away daily deliveries of the stuff, yet it has always been something I say I will get around to doing some day.

I took the plunge and applied in October, but I was ttc and fell pregnant in November so it has been delayed again.

I will do it though, I am determined. It is a fantastic thing to do. I was always so proud of my mum for doing it when I was growing up, she is A- which is quite rare but has been told she can no longer give as it was making her ill. She had fainted a couple of times and they have politely told her to stop.

No OP, I don't think it is unethical to accept blood if you don't donate.

TheTiger Sun 20-Jan-13 15:08:13

Thank you StickEmUp for starting this thread.

expat your story has moved me into deciding to donate. I need to wait until DS is 6 months old according to the website but I am going to do it in honour of your daughter.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 20-Jan-13 15:12:32

Communist... How, just HOW does giving blood burn up 500 calories? Do they have to chase after you to get you on the bed or something? confusedgrin

It's really not the most energetic activity in my opinion, but maybe your sessions are more er... fun? grin

LittleMissFantabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 15:15:06

I donated regularly, then fell by the wayside when I had my middle child. I had my third child, and he had life saving transfusion at two days old. I was back around the brew and biscuit table the day before he turned six months. To all who donate, my everlasting thanks. One of you beautiful people saved my baby. To all who are thinking of donating, it's a half hour out of your day in most cases, and possiy the most worthwhile half hour you can spend. I'm back again in March.

FransJam Sun 20-Jan-13 15:28:41

I have a friend who needed several blood transfusions when she was suffering from cancer and another who needed a transfusion after she haemorrhaged after giving birth.

I give blood regularly and am proud to do it. It's not the most pleasant experience of my week but it is the best experience when I can stroll out afterwards knowing I may (with virtually no effort and having actually been medically ordered to eat biscuits) just saved someone's life.

I have dire veins but one ferocious nurse <waves at Mary> can always find them so I ask for her before anyone else starts poking around in my arm.

Put briefly it is a way to contribute enormously with very little effort on your part. Suits me <lazy>

Absoluteeightiesgirl Sun 20-Jan-13 15:40:08

My daughter had over thirty blood and platelet transfusions when she had leukaemia. If I could go and find those people who donated I would thank them from the bottom of my heart for saving her life.
That said, I know that for some people a needle phobia prevents them from donating and I fully understand that.
I am just so grateful to people who donate blood.... You really are amazing.

fussychica Sun 20-Jan-13 15:46:21

Gave blood for years - very happy to do it. Can't at the mo due to medical reasons but hope to be able to start again in the near future.

It's fairly quick & easy to do and, like others, I feel good having done something to help others.

IreneR Sun 20-Jan-13 15:55:45

I have a question for those of you in the know: can non-citizens give blood in the UK?

I used to be a fairly regular donor here in the US until they denied eligibility to anyone who'd spend longer than 3 months in the UK between 1980 and 199-something (because of Mad Cow Disease worries). Now I'm no longer allowed to donate.

I'm looking forward to a four-month stint in Scotland at the begiining of next year. Do you suppose I'd be able to donate blood while I'm there?

notcitrus Sun 20-Jan-13 15:57:36

I haven't given for about 7 years, partly because I've been on drugs/pregnant/breastfeeding, partly not had the time since having kids. I had my Bronze medal for 10 donations a while before that.

OP and others who can't donate for whatever reason - if you could babysit or mind a friend's child at the centre, that would enable more people like me to donate. I'd let you have my biscuit!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 20-Jan-13 15:59:13

I give blood. I wish more people would but I'd still want you to have it if you needed it. Been "ethical" might kill you!

I'd rather a non-donor received it than have it wasted. Also if there was a situation where there was only my blood and a choice between a donor and a non-donor needing it I hope it would be given to whoever had the greatest medical need (I'm sure it would).

I have given about 35 times now, don't always find it easy (have felt faint occasionally and fitting it in with childcare is a bit of a juggle, although I'd take the DCs if I had to now they are a bit older) but I do go whenever I can

Trinpy Sun 20-Jan-13 16:11:07

I was also terrified of needles - I once fainted because I saw someone push a needle into some rubber piping and it reminded me too much of injecting veins - but I still went blood doning when I turned 18. I was shaking with nerves the first time but everyone was really nice and once they had started it wasn't so bad. Unfortunately I was only able to give blood once as the second time I really struggled to fill up the bag and the time after that none of the nurses were able to get to my veins. They told me to come back in 10 years and see if its any easier.

However, yanbu, because it is your body and it is up to you whether you feel able to donate.

EugenesAxe Sun 20-Jan-13 16:19:08

YANBU - it's a gift. If you don't understand the concept of gifts then don't be a blood donor.

It's quite fun though... and you do get biscuits and stuff afterwards. Maybe go along once and just see if you can cope. It always makes me feel good after I've donated. You can look away if it's just the sight of blood that gives you troubles. When it's in the bags it's dark and not that gory; it just looks like Ribena or something.

milkandribena Sun 20-Jan-13 16:20:10

I would donate in a heart beat if I could.

and no it isn't unethical to accept it. It is a gift.

5hounds Sun 20-Jan-13 16:31:36

I have never given blood,I can't stand needles but will go and sign up now after reading these storys.

nextphase Sun 20-Jan-13 16:41:40

For those of you questioning if they will accept your blood due to medications / travel / weight etc, its best to ring them first on * 0300 123 23 23* and talk to a member of the team before you book an appointment. Then you are more likely to be accepted when you turn up. If make an appointment, and then are declined, it wastes a space, and your journey.

Yes, I donate - its an hour I get to leave the kids with DH, and read my book, and have a biscuit in peace!

stickylittlefingers Sun 20-Jan-13 16:46:13

you get to be a bit of a hero for an afternoon :-) who could say no if they have the capability? The bit of bravery you have to scrunch up to go and donate is most likely nothing compared with what your donee might be going through. Just do it...

Haven't read all other posts but people have all sorts of reasons not to donate and I don't believe they should be stopped from receiving blood when needed.

Personally I have donated since I was 17, having been with my parents when I was small. It's not something I like and it does actually stress me out (have fainted once and been sick once in 24 donations) but since I met my dh who wouldn't be here without others donating it has made me more determined to donate.

I have recently lost a reasonable amount of weight and at my last donation was turned away due to low Hb, I had no idea my iron levels were low as I felt fine so had no way to make a change to it. I have been told I cannot donate for a year, which in my opinion is ridiculous and I will not know if my changes to diet have improved my iron levels until I do donate again and their rules state that if you are turned away more than twice for low Hb you will not be allowed to donate again ever. I personally don't understand this as they are desperate for blood, I can only assume it's a cost saving policy so they don't need to do additional testing.

I hope that the inconvenience and minor discomfort don't put people off but I'm sure they do. Just glad that there are enough people who are able to donate that do so that blood stocks are maintained.

PerchanceToDream Sun 20-Jan-13 17:16:09

I have a friend going through what we think is her final few months with terminal cancer. It's in all her bones and now in her brain. She's had more blood transfusions than I can count. I think her dying wish would be for more people to donate. It's kept her alive this long.

Annoyingly, I can't. I'm a tiny person, well under the minimum weight and with stupidly thin veins. I struggle to give them any blood sample and they even struggle to put me under for general anaesthetics because they can't find a big enough vein hmm. I've contacted NHS GiveBlood to ask whether the pint-sized might be able to give half-pints but their response was that X was their standard measure and that was that.

Although I can't help my friend directly, I'm so glad that I managed to donate the cord blood of DD's placenta to the Anthony Nolan trust for leukaemia treatment. Mine was one of only two hospitals in the country trialing it two years ago and I felt really honoured.

Huge respect to anyone who gives blood but to those like me who can't, just do your bit in an other way.

freerangeeggs Sun 20-Jan-13 17:19:48

Signing up for the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register might ease your conscience smile It's easy to do if you follow the steps online.

I tried to donate blood after my friend died (he donated his organs and saved two people). Unfortunately it was a bit of a palaver because I have an absolutely nothing disease (honestly, barely any symptoms at all, practically nothing) that happens to be quite rare and I had to go back twice, get a letter saying it was okay to donate etc. Then it turned out I couldn't donate anyway because I have low iron levels!

cardibach Sun 20-Jan-13 17:21:55

I gave blood last week. I've been doing it more or less regularly, give or take pregnancy and holidays in malarial zones, since I was 17 (48 now) and I do like the feeling it gives me and the biscuits - so you see it isn't a selfless activity! DD was gutted they came last week as she is 17 on Friday so will have to wait til they come back now. She has been sitting by my bed as I donate for years so knows the drill.
Well done to all those who have got over their fears to give!
THis time the Welsh Blood Service have been sending me texts as stocks are apparently very low - so could all Welsh donors/potential donors go soon, please? smile

freerangeeggs Sun 20-Jan-13 17:22:19

Oh, and last time I went I saw someone faint. I think it's pretty normal to be squeamish about it! I'd try it, if I were you. You'll feel amazing afterwards.

higgle Sun 20-Jan-13 17:22:39

OP, what is your blood group? DH used to give blood but they haven't needed him for years now as they have sufficient stocks of his group because it isn't often needed.

BoffinMum Sun 20-Jan-13 17:25:58

It's all about the whole community. Some people give more blood than others, some need more blood than others. It's not a direct input-output model.

Porkster Sun 20-Jan-13 17:52:26

I give blood and have done since I was 18.

I feel quite strongly that if you can, you should.

No-one relishes having a thick needle put into a vein, but most of us are not phobic, so can put up with a moment's discomfort.

I have a colleague who's 18 year old son was hit by a car. He needed 3 transfusions.

But can I get my colleague to give blood? No. He says he's 'not keen' on needles. This makes me angry

StickEmUp Sun 20-Jan-13 17:52:37

Discussion of the day people!
Mumsnet mods rock wink

StickEmUp Sun 20-Jan-13 17:53:42

Higgie i don't know.

I phoned th helpline while posting last night and i cant donate.
Under the weight limit.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 20-Jan-13 18:00:36

Porkster... Why does it make you angry if people can't/won't donate? Plenty of people do give blood, they don't feel the need for a cringey 'hero' badge or special concessions for doing it, they just get on with it.

Quite honestly, people who try to make others donate through guilt probably rub them up the wrong way and put them off completely. I can't tolerate 'grand-standers' myself, they don't achieve results, they're just annoying.

SevenReasonsToSmile Sun 20-Jan-13 18:01:58

I would recommend everyone who can to at least try it once. By going once I was referred for tests after my finger prick drop didnt sink. I found out I'm a carrier of thalassaemia (which means my red blood cells are too small), it meant we could have DH tested too before I got pregnant. They won't have my blood but I'm glad I tried.

MorningPurples Sun 20-Jan-13 18:02:38

I am going next week. I do it as often as I can. I've only had to stop for a while when I was anaemic, and for a year or so afterwards.

I started when I was a student, so yes, non-citizens can donate, as I wasn't a citizen at the time.

My weight has fluctuated widely in that time, mostly well overweight. But for a time, I was quite near the lower limit. I've never been weighed; the closest is just a question about whether I weigh more than the minimum, and it's up to me to answer (I was). But mostly they don't even ask that, only if you look underweight. So if you're fairly short, but look average weight, then you probably won't be asked. I felt faint and sick once or twice afterwards when I was at a low weight, but that wasn't because I was at that weight per se, but because I'd been seriously dieting to get there. If you eat normally it is unlikely to be a problem.

You should eat before you go, and also drink - though they make you drink a pint of water/squash when you get there anyway (and have a few biscuits if you've not eaten for a while). (If they did weigh you, you'd be heavier than you think because of all that anyway!!).

The finger prick hurts, and the needle does when going in, but they're for brief moments and once they're over, it's OK. You don't have to watch it at all. I kind of like watching the indicator go up to show how much I've pumped out, or the scale showing the amount. It doesn't take that long. They're all really nice to you and chat if you want, or you can just sit there and daydream. Then biscuits afterwards. You might feel a bit faint, but they'll look after you if so, and it goes away in the end. And you feel satisfied that you've done something good.

They used to turn you away if you'd recently returned (within a month I think) from North America, because of the potential for West Nile disease from mosquitoes (even in the winter!) but now the apparently have a test for it, so you can donate even shortly after your return.

They ask lots of questions about medications and tablets you've taken etc etc, but it doesn't mean they aren't going to take your blood - for many of them, they can still use it in certain ways, but they just need to know if you've had, say, ibuprofen recently. So they just record it. Others are totally fine, whereas others mean you have to wait til you're off them before you donate.

I gave blood about ten times starting from when I was at Uni when they came to our student union building. I'm sort of hoping I've done my fair share if I or my loved ones need any one day. I would consider donating again I guess, it's a bit of a getting round to it sort of thing IYKWIM

WantsToBeFree Sun 20-Jan-13 18:31:41

I am extremely squeamish myself and don't deal too well with needles or any medical procedures in general.

However, if someone really needed blood in an emergency scenario, then of course I would give it.

I haven't yet participated in a blood donation camp, but I am thinking about it.

padster75 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:49:01

I give because I can. Simple, no bullshit, no excuses. I rock up, whack out my left arm and do what my conscience says is right.

Ffuntimewincies Sun 20-Jan-13 18:51:42

I used to before having children but now I can't find any sessions at times when I don't have one or both of the dc and it says specifically not to bring children.

Quite happy with needles, I usually feel a bit woosy afterwards until the sugar kicks in but, for me, it's a question of practicalities.

scoobydooagain Sun 20-Jan-13 18:57:08

I don't think you are BU. I give blood frequently fully expecting it to be given to people who didn't donate. In fact given blood is the only truly alturistic thing I do, I hate giving blood - not the actual giving blood, no problem what so ever. But the queuing, the waiting and the wrong skill mix, plenty of carers milling about doing nothing while the ones that can insert the needles and do the screening running around like headless chickens.

I tried to give blood but was so anaemic they wouldn't let me! Then I had a horrendous delivery and needed a transfusion, so now I can't. I would if I could, though, but I think it's completely up to the individual.

happydotcom Sun 20-Jan-13 19:35:15

I donate . Although dont do it with a hangover - from bitter experience smile

IreneR Sun 20-Jan-13 19:41:23 is a very helpful site; coming from the US is apparently no barrier to donation.

I'll be able to roll up my sleeve at least twice next year, anyway.

I would say that blood donation may be easier for some than for others, but each one of us who can donate should give it a try at least once. In the contest between squeamishness and helpfulness, I know whose side I'm on.

bottleofbeer Sun 20-Jan-13 19:43:47

I donate because my sister had an artery nicked during a c/section, she bled out and died for 12 seconds. It was donors that saved her. It doesn't affect me at all, never had any dodgy after effects and it only takes half an hour (taking the actual blood) takes 5 or 10 minutes.

I'm O neg too so it's particularly useful.

AND you lose a whole pint of weight! what's not to love? grin

Do it if you can smile

BoffinMum Sun 20-Jan-13 19:47:35

I used to donate a lot before I was on my meds, and I have O neg blood too so they loved that.

Never felt dizzy, never really minded doing it at all. Liked the snacks and tea afterwards. grin

bottleofbeer Sun 20-Jan-13 19:58:31

I think of the bayyyybayyyys. My mum told me the teeny babies get O neg.

She's probably lying.

In fact I'm due to go on 30th so best get swigging the iron - I once got knocked back because my iron was something ridic like .2 lower than they like. Ever since I start the iron a week or so beforehand.

OP, YANBU, of course it is a voluntary thing and you've had lots of people agreeing with that.

I have just started donating again.
I used to donate blood and platelets very regularly when I was a student and it then fell by the wayside when I moved country, was always pregnant/BFing or recovering from MC and then I was too busy/distracted by Life to make the effort to find out where/when I could donate.

It was ExpatinScotland and her daughter who I never met who gave me the kick up the backside to look up my nearest donation opportunity and I am going again next week.
It is a simple thing to do, the nurses who stick the actual needle in are very skilled - this is ALL they do day in, day out after all - and I can honestly say that it did not hurt. I don't look either, but it was just fine. I did not feel different afterwards, had some tea and a biscuit and off I popped again.

I am embarrassed that it took the RL illness of somebody to move me out of my inertia blush when I and my children have come v close to needing blood on more than one occasion AND I know from professional experience that it quite literally is a matter of life and death so often.

VenusRising Sun 20-Jan-13 20:00:14

Sticks up, even if you're under the weight for blood, you can still donate organs. So all is not lost.
We all do our best I think.

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 20-Jan-13 20:05:57

I would be dead if it wasn't for people giving blood and my DS would be motherless. I needed 19 units of blood and ffp and this happened because of all the wonderful people that give blood. I never gave blood due to getting some unknown infection in Thailand (not sexual!) they would not let me. However, I feel guilty because I never gave any before I went travelling in early 20's and I can't now as I have had too much from other people.

I think if you can do it or at least give it a go. You'll be helping save millions of lives and those people, like me, will be eternally grateful.

My best friend received blood after suffering a PPH after her DS was born. I don't have a rare blood group but have given blood since I was 18 - now 46. Funnily enough I don't think of it as saving a life - its just something that I - as a very ordinary boring person can do.

Zavi Sun 20-Jan-13 20:51:43

You shouldn't feel guilty for not donating blood!

Believe me I get a great kick out of giving blood!

This is what I get from it:

I love the fact that I can help someone else out, yet remain completely anonymous. A bit like a "mystery helper"

It makes ME feel smug good knowing I'm helping someone else (or helping research cos not all blood donated is given to people)

I always feel really freed up is probably my imagination but so what after I've given blood. Difficult to describe it but I just feel energised all over. Maybe that explains the popularity of blood-letting in the olden days!

It's a relaxing 90 mins to myself.

My nephew needed a blood transfusion recently and it was really brilliant being able to joke with him "Hey, that might be my stuff you're getting, and it's good stuff!" My nephew enjoyed entertaining that possibility and knowing that I'm a regular blood donor really helped to lessen the initial fear that he had of having a blood transfusion.

OneSliceOfSwissCheese Sun 20-Jan-13 20:59:13

Giving blood was my new year's resolution and I've got an appointment in a couple of weeks. I've never done it before but since having my daughter a year ago, I felt it was something I wanted to do. Especially when I found out in pregnancy that I'm O negative which as other people have said, is a useful one.

I never did it before as I hated needles/having blood taken for tests etc. But having had loads of blood tests as part of fertility treatment, I know that, although it isn't very nice, I CAN do it if I want to enough.

cuppateaanyone Sun 20-Jan-13 21:42:23

Right expat you just inspired me, one arm was 'failed' many years ago after difficult donation but that leaves the other and reading our comments I am going to try again.

plus3 Sun 20-Jan-13 21:51:46

I use bags & bags of the stuff at work, also platelets & cryoprecipitate which you can also choose to donate.

If you can get over the needle bit it is an invaluable thing to do. Thank you

sleepychunky Sun 20-Jan-13 21:54:07

Just to add my tuppence worth - nobody should feel obliged to give blood, but God knows they need all they can get. I've been giving since I was 18 (have just done my 37th donation as gaps whilst pregnant/6 months after DC's births) and 3 times a year, for around 45 minutes, I'm mildly inconvenienced. It doesn't hurt much and the nurses are all lovely, and I think that I might just have helped someone like Ailidh, or a pregnant lady having an EMCS, or anybody at all. I don't even mind if my donation went to research instead of being used to help someone in a medical emergency.
Just for the record, someone said upthread about their DH's nanny doing 500 donations. Given that you can only donate 3 times per year max, and you have to be at least 17, I think it might have been 50 rather than 500 or the person in question would have to be over 120 years old!

Well done to anybody who's decided to take the plunge and donate this year. It is something which, for those who have no medical reason not to, I think everybody should try at least once.

BTW - I found out that I can have anyone's blood but only a very select group of people can have mine. So the least useful blood to anyone but me !

tb Sun 20-Jan-13 22:04:05

I started giving blood when I lived in a Baptist college when I was at University. We all used to pile into a mini-bus they sent for us from the main centre.

It was always the largest bloke who passed out.

Then it was ok. I carried on - including some bastard from Liverpool who left me with a bruise from elbow to wrist. Someone who was a nurse with their blood transfusion said it was his trademark, and had she known the rota, she'd have told me not to go to that session - it was a work session with a site of 11,000 people.

There was a time when they had doctors that could find a central vein - then I only used to get overtaken by about 3 or 4 people. I'm a slow bleeder.

Last time I went to the main centre, they pissed themselves laughing, by telling me not to try slashing my wrists if I felt suicidal, and followed it by asking me not to come in just before closing time.

DH told me not to give, as I kept having unpleasant experiences - nurses coming around, not being able to hit a vein, and then joggling the canula in my arm which made me feel like throwing up. I need my veins, too for blood tests.

Now I live in France, I'm banned due to cjd. The French cows never suffered from it hmm just as the radiation from Chernobyl didn't affect France as they were blessed with an invisible curtain that stopped the radiation dead at the French frontier. Yes, that the official govt position.

I've given over 30 donations, my little blue book was full and falling apart, and can't find my card.

Would love to give again, made me feel useful sad

12ylnon Sun 20-Jan-13 22:04:53

I wish i could give blood, but i had a blood transfusion a few years ago and apparently now i can't (although they didn't tell me at the time! Wasn't really in a position to refuse.) I'm very grateful to the person who did- i wouldn't be alive if they hadn't.
To make up for it, i've donated my entire body to a teaching hospital for them to do whatever they like when i die. I'm weirdly excited at the prospect!

That made me laugh 12ylnon - hmm organ donation is certainly something to consider too isn't it - or donating one's body for research ?

I don't know if I can or not because I don;t know if I had a transfusion during EMCS. DH thinks I did, I think I didn't, but I was under GA and he was in Copenhagen, so I'm not sure either of us are reliable on this particular question smile.

Presumably my GP should know?

I received 3 bags of platelets about 8 years ago and can now not give blood any more sad. Prior to that, I donated about 6 times when I was old enough but moved areas and hadn't donated for a few years. If I could turn back the clock I would donate more though. The platelets were pretty important in helping me to recover from serious illness and I was grateful for them, but I can't help but think it stinks that now I have received blood products from the blood bank, I am now apparently too risky to give blood myself?! hmm.

MrsHoarder Sun 20-Jan-13 22:45:42

I've donated in the past and will do again. I feel ill at the thought of the actual needle part, but I do breathing exercises and blank the process.

I do it in memory of a friend who revived a lot of blood when doctors were trying to save his life after an rta. He always donated, and his family asked us to do it instead of flowers. Like to think he'd like to be remembered with a selfless act.

MrsHoarder Sun 20-Jan-13 22:47:37

The reason you can't give if you've received is in case we discover a new disease that's carried in blood. This rule would limit it's spread if we did.

Mosschopz Sun 20-Jan-13 22:51:38

Squeamish folk are faaaar more hassle to the nurses who co-ordinate blood donation sessions than those who give readily so no, YANBU. My dad gave once but got nervous, nearly passed out and took ages to recover - they asked him not to come back! grin

Sam100 Sun 20-Jan-13 23:03:12

I am not usually a socialist in my outlook but this is one area where I completely agree with "from each according to ability, to each according to need". I give blood without any thought of who may receive it because I can and so many cannot. There is a big drive at the moment to recruit 100,000 new volunteer donors. Maybe if you cannot do it yourself you could find one new donor who will go.

larks35 Sun 20-Jan-13 23:03:13

YANBU OP, you shouldn't do it if it will cause stress and anxiety for you and maybe the people taking your blood.

This thread has reminded me that as a completely non-sqeamish, "real pumper" of a blood-doner, I need to do it again. I haven't for a while due to pregnancy etc. but reading some posts on here has reminded that I should. Needles have never bothered me and my blood literally pumps out! Right looking now for the nearest and soonest doning station.

FoofFighter Sun 20-Jan-13 23:06:06

What a fantastic thread, expecting it to be one thign and look how it's turned out smile

I can't give blood as I have had cancer sad AS I understand it this is a lifetime ban?

My OH and his family all give blood regularly. I'm on the organ donor register though so feel I am doing something. Or will be at least.

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jan-13 23:08:40

I can't donate any more as I live abroad and am "contaminated" - can't donate organs either for the same reason sad
Hoping that they'll develop a reliable test for vCJD soon and then I can donate again.

I wasn't a big donor in the UK but I worked in a blood transfusion centre for 5y, so that was "doing my part" as well. smile

At our donor sessions, you weren't allowed back if you'd come over faint/dizzy/sick 3 times - a girl who was donating at the same time as me (we got chatting in the line) told me this was her 3rd and last chance, and she did do it again, poor thing so no more donating for her.

I don't like needles. I don't have an issue with blood per se but I do have an issue with metal going into me so I can't watch the needle being inserted. Back then, we used to get a local anaesthetic routinely before the canula was placed; now I think you have to request it. It does help.

OP - YANBU because you are too squeamish - and definitely not BU because you are underweight! But otherwise I do think people should donate if they can, because it's a valuable life-saving resource and fake blood just isn't up to the job yet.

I have donated 4 times, passed out everytime and last time they couldn't get the full pint and told me not to bother again. That's about 5 years ago now, and I've had a baby since then - EMCS - so I figure I'm a bit tougher now. Going to give them a ring and find out if it would be ok to try again. Really sobering hearing some of the stories on here. I figure its worth giving it one more shot.

Sparkleandco Sun 20-Jan-13 23:25:09

lol about Tchernobyl cloud and the rest! France is protected from many things except silliness ;)
About giving blood, they are very strict since a huge blood contamination scandal in the 80's where politics were involved ( "L'affaire du sang contaminé" ). Many children were contaminated to HIV because they never check the donors' past. About your case, it's because your medical history is not documented (?) in France so it's difficult to know if you had a surgery, if you've received blood etc. There was a time when they refused blood from homosexual people, people of African descent and many more! Now, the problem is that we don't have enough blood in our "blood banks" in winter for example ( skiing season)...
In my case, I can't give because of anemia.

activatetherhythm Sun 20-Jan-13 23:28:17

This thread has made me sign up and I've found a local date in next few weeks.

janji Sun 20-Jan-13 23:38:10

I would love to give blood as my dh has being doing so for years. I have a really bad needle phobia and faint after giving blood samples at the doctors. Even when pregnant the midwife had to take blood whilst I was lying on the sofa at home! Would this just make too much fuss/work for the blood donation nurses or would they still be happy that I turned up to donate?

I donated for the first time last November, it really didn't hurt much, and I hardly felt the finger prick which is meant to be the worst part confused They spent a while marking exactly where the vein was so they hit it first time, and it only took about 10 minutes and I was a slow bleeder. Just hope there are better biscuits next time not bloody rich teas

CelticPromise Mon 21-Jan-13 07:48:54

Sparkle I believe they also refuse blood here from men who have sex with men and people from certain countries. Not just a French thing!

I haven't donated for a few years due to pregnancy and ttc, but I'll certainly go back.

My DS was born very premature and tiny, he had several blood transfusions and many, many platelet transfusions until his little body could make its own. I used to give anyway, but DS inspired squeamish DH to start. smile

Donors, you're doing an amazing thing! But OP, YANBU. Your choice. Although I do try to talk people into it occasionallyblush

MidnightMasquerader Mon 21-Jan-13 08:20:11

I've been giving blood every three months for a year now, off the back of a thread on here. This place is amazing sometimes, and I think there are a lot of us who've been given the kick up the arse required to actually go and do this incredibly important thing.

I love doing it, too. I have fabulous veins and am not bothered about needles at all and not squeamish, so am a prime candidate.

Plus, all the people involved all along the way, as well as the other donors, are all just so lovely. grin There is no other word for it - the whole experience is just lovely from start to finish!

I am back in next week for my one-year anniversary donation.

Just wanted to say that I've given blood quite a few times, but the last time I went, I fainted - they only got about three quarters of what they needed. I was gutted, because it does take quite a bit of guts for me personally, and I asked if they could still use it. The nurse said that it was all useful, because they always need samples for testing and cross-matching - so even if there's a problem, it does seem that every drop helps!
I'm going back in two weeks too smile

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 21-Jan-13 09:13:26

I always MN while donating - maybe we could have a few live donation threads and we can all hold the hands of the nervous donors or tell them jokes.

Well done to all the people who've been inspired to give by this thread - it's Monday morning now, so once you have a moment, give them a bell, ask them all those questions about medical history and travel and make the booking while it's fresh in your mind. That's 0300 123 2323.

As seen on this thread so many people can't give (like the OP it seems) that I do think it's important for those of us who can to make the effort. I used to work in an office of 8 people of whom I was the only person who could donate.

jessjessjess Mon 21-Jan-13 09:19:18

I think it's a bit pathetic not to even try it once before assuming you can't cope. I doubt it's as bad as you think.

I can't do it because of a serious medical condition and DH can't because he had a transfusion within a certain time period. We've both recently checked with the nhs to make sure we are not mistaken.

If I could give blood I would. Sure, I would be squeamish. Strangely, the idea of dying due to blood loss makes me more squeamish.

Jdub Mon 21-Jan-13 10:18:53

I used to give blood. I too used to be really squeamish but I thought -'Give it a try as it is SUCH a useful thing to do'

Then 3 years ago, I was really ill and would have died had I not received several blood transfusions. I have 2 young children (then aged 10months, and 3 years) and faced with the potential prospect of writing letters for them to read in the future without me, I have NEVER been SO grateful to the people who give blood, and to the wonderful people who work in the haematology unit at my hospital. There are SO many people, young and old, who need blood for so many different reasons.

Luckily, 3 years down the line, and I am well! But unfortunately am no longer able to donate. Having seen it from both sides, I would definitely say to anyone who can, at least give it a try. You could be helping someone just like yourself - and I can promise you they will be ETERNALLY grateful.

kdoc Mon 21-Jan-13 10:23:19

I gave blood regularly when living in Ireland and since moving to the UK have tried to keep this up. I'm not squeamish so it's not an issue for me. What I would say is that in my experience the staff taking blood at every center I've given blood at have been very helpful. They are quite understand of people's phobia of needles and most likely encounter this on a daily basis. As the sensation is similar to being pinched by someone with long nails, it's not a total breeze but if you look away and never see the needle, it may be something you can overcome. However, there are plenty of people who aren't squeamish and still don't donate blood so I wouldn't feel guilty about it. It's certainly a better reason not to donate than being 'too busy' or donating isn't 'convenient enough'. It's commendable that you're an organ donor and while hopefully this isn't something you'll do for many years to come, it will make a difference to people's lives in the future.

Katienana Mon 21-Jan-13 10:42:36

I had to have a transfusion after giving birth. I have terrible veins and for testing they can only get blood from my hand. it would take ages for them to get enough blood from me and it would be painful. I've been,nagging dh to go and donate to replace the blood I was given.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 21-Jan-13 10:43:12

I would give blood, but the nurses can never find my veins for blood tests so they said it would just not be viable. Plus I usually have low levels of ferratin and iron, so it's not good blood.

I am on the organ donor register though and have been for years

I'm a regular donor - next donation is on Wednesday

Quick reminder for new or returning donors (or anyone else who hasn't done it yet).
If you tell them you want to join the British Bone Marrow Registry when you arrive at your appointment they will take an extra blood sample. If you are a blood donor you can join the BBMR up to the age of 49 (much older than Antony Nolan) and the BBMR work with Antony Nolan if a donor is needed so you only need to be on one register.

Good luck to all the brave new and returning donors.

I would love to give blood. I think it's a great thing to be able to give. But I wasn't heavy enough for it hmm. They don't seem to take into account for us shorties! I found it embarrasing when people asked why I'm not giving, especially since we have a red cross van onsite every 6 months at my office.

BanoffeeSplitz Mon 21-Jan-13 11:53:10

Used to donate when I was in my 20s, didn't while with exDH as he had briefly injected drugs when he was younger (one of the questions they ask is "within last 12 months have you had sex with anyone who has ever used needles" ).
Back to donating again - it was one of my milestones after break up grin.

Still feel guilty about all those years I missed - I knew DH's injecting was brief & nearly 30 years ago & always felt I should have skipped over that question... he could easily have never told me about his past.

I've been turned down a couple of times in the past for being anemic but I'm 11 weeks pregnant now and this will probably be my last baby, so I'd really like to become a regular donor in future. I don't think there's anyone who isn't a bit squeamish about needles or who relishes the prospect of a bruised arm and feeling a bit faint or run down afterwards. But the bottom line is if I ever needed blood or one of my DCs did, I'd want to be able to get it and it's only going to be there if people donate it. There's a resolution for me in 2014 smile

Thewhingingdefective Mon 21-Jan-13 13:09:41

I do give blood. I say 'I do' but I haven't donated for a couple of years. Intended to go in November but was too ill.

I used to be very squeamish and needle phobic. Then I found out I needed IVF and very quickly got over that. Then got pg and got used to having blood taken.

It was when I was nine months post partum that I first considered donating blood. I was nervous, but so proud of myself when I had done it. Since then, I have also become a registered organ donor and bone marrow donor, although I think I might not be on the bone marrow register now because I am too old. I have also been on the look out for jobs with NHSBT as a donor carer.

I would encourage anyone that can do, to give blood, but I would not guilt-trip anyone or regard them as a hypocrite for receiving blood products.

Tingalingle Mon 21-Jan-13 13:20:16

Anyone know if received the anti-D injection bars you from later donations, as it's derived from blood products? I asked last time before I tried to donate and got told to go away and they'd get back to me on that one.

weegiemum Mon 21-Jan-13 13:24:10

I went to hospital today, to my specialist neuro unit. I'll be there again tomorrow.

I get 5 bottles of IVIg - intravenous immunoglobulins - which help my neurological illness. In 2-3 days I'll be able to feel my hands and feet, walk in a straight line, have energy, do my teaching job, look after my dc, clean my own house, cook my own meals. Which I can't, today.

Each of those precious bottles contains the concentrated immune systems of 30 generous blood donors. 150 people a month give part of their blood so I can function normally (and also put off the point at which I can no longer walk, talk, breThe as I get more badly affected).

I would love to hug and thank every one in person. I can no longer donate, or donate bone marrow or organs because of my disability. I live through the generous donations of others, and I'm immensely, eternally grateful.

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jan-13 13:38:27

TIngalingle - if you look at the Blood Transfusion Service's page on this, having had anti-D does NOT preclude you from giving blood.

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jan-13 13:48:56

And if you're really interested wink this link explains why - the fractionation process etc. are designed to eliminate any infectious agent (although CJD isn't mentioned but fractionation could take care of the prions anyway, I don't know)

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 14:15:18

If anti-d was an issue they'd be fekked since it's the rhesus negative among us who will have had the anti-d and it's O neg they're always crying out for.

Tingalingle Mon 21-Jan-13 14:18:47

Excellent -- although that abstract does kind of suggest that it's the more modern methods that zip the prions out of the products before use (assuming that it's talking about treating the anti-D before giving it to me, rather than mine before handing it on?). I received anti-D up to 17 years ago (needed it with every pregnancy) so I'll still check with them, I think.

juicychops Mon 21-Jan-13 14:26:06

ive not read the whole thread but ive given blood 10 times. I know everyone has different opinions but im under the opinion that everyone healthy enough should give it a go at least once
Ive also given once whilst on a/ds and it was fine to do so.

ive been turned down about 4 times in the past because my iron levels were too low at those particular times which is really frustrating as you then have to wait another 4 months to try again, but well worth the personal satisfaction once you've done it smile

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 14:27:42

All anti-d is imported from American anyhoo.

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jan-13 14:35:47

What makes you think that, bottleofbeer? It's produced in the UK by Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) from UK donors, although there are versions from other manufacturers licensed for use in the UK.

Madmog Mon 21-Jan-13 14:43:19

I'm also squeamish to the extent I get dizzy having a blood test and have been known to faint, so I understand it may not be an excuse (as some have said) if you start to feel like this. You are willing to donate in other ways, so don't knock yourself. My Mum on the other hand hates the thought of her organs working in someone else's body!

tholeon Mon 21-Jan-13 14:46:02

Hello. I booked in to go for the first time in years in December, having been inspired by something, then got a nasty bug and couldn't... Now they have written to me about going in on Friday but I would have to take my three and one year olds with me... That wouldn't work would it? My eldest might be ok with bribes and my iPod but the baby will just scream if I leave her in the pushchair watching for that long. Any thoughts??

NoseyParker4aHusband Mon 21-Jan-13 14:52:12

I am a regular donor and have given blood since age 20. I am also on the organ donor register and the Bone Marrow Registry. And would donate my body to Medical Science (if it is wanted grin) when I die. It is totally up to personal choice. I had a scary time whilst having dd1 which nearly resulted in me nearly needing a blood transfusion (dh overheard the doctor involved panicking as no one had checked my blood group and they did not have enough in stock, I am glad I was too drugged up to notice at the time grin) Luckily it did not come to that but I hate to think what would have happened if I had. I never miss an appointment if I can possibly help it.

cyanarasamba Mon 21-Jan-13 15:01:40

Just came on here to thank all you donors, from the bottom of my heart.

My daughter is 2 and has an extremely rare blood disorder. She has had 50 blood tests and 14 blood transfusions in her short life. She doesn't cry at needles because that's all she has ever known - that makes me a little sad.

Without blood donors she would have faded away peacefully at around 7 weeks old, and would not be sitting here right now playing tea parties with her toys.

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 15:04:33

I dunno, I was told a while ago anti-d isn't a consideration from the CJD POV because it all comes from America.

Cat98 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:08:34

I have tried 3 times to give blood and every time has turned into a lengthy process - stop/start, me feeling faint afterwards and them not being able to take the full amount needed.
Is it worth me trying again? What could be the reason for this? Each time they just said "don't worry, this happens sometimes" but after the 3rd time I was a bit fed up tbh! I will certainly try again though if there's something I can do to try and ensure this doesn't happen - or is my blood just weird?!

WheresMyCow Mon 21-Jan-13 15:11:12

Thanks StickEmUp for starting this thread and thanks Expat for your posts which have reminded me of the promise that I made 6 months ago when Ailidh died.

I have never given blood but decided that it was the least I could do. I had forgotten blush but am glad to have been reminded and will make amends now. I'll also prompt DH to do it too. He always used to, but has lapsed recently.

specialknickers Mon 21-Jan-13 15:15:50

I once made a documentary about blood donors and the recipients and op I was so so gutted that I wasn't allowed to give myself. It's one of the easiest, most important things you can do.

Why not pop along to one of thier sessions and talk it though with one of the nbs nurses? As others have said, they won't take it if they think you'll react badly (can testify to this personally, they wouldn't let me donate after I told them I have cardiac arrhythmia). I think you'll be a lot braver than you think you are!

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jan-13 15:17:51

I think whoever told you that wasn't in full possession of the facts then, bottleofbeer.

Cat98 - it's nothing to do with your blood and everything to do with your vaso-vagal response - the way your body's vagus nerve is affected by blood letting (in this case).

Andro Mon 21-Jan-13 15:19:06

Checking in to offer encouragement to those thinking of giving for the first time.

I was terrified before I first donated; I'd had cannulas, and blood tests done many times and it seemed that every time someone tried to put a needle in a vein, they either missed it or punched straight through the other side and left a massive bruise. I have now donated over 30 times and there has never been a problem, they are just that good at what they do.

The moral of my story is that my mind made it into a far bigger deal than the reality actually was. Talk to the staff, they are really happy to help you deal with any nerves.

WheresMyCow Mon 21-Jan-13 15:23:19

Well, that's the ball rolling. Have just registered smile

Mollydoggerson Mon 21-Jan-13 15:36:25

This thread has inspired me to offer some blood. Hopefully they will take it, I tried in the past and was aneamic or for one reason or another they couldn't take it. But I'm going to try to give blood again.

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 15:51:06

Oh well, doesn't really matter anyway since anti-d isn't a consideration smile

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 15:55:17

Don't assume your iron levels being to low to donate means anaemia. They just need your blood to be at least 12.5 which is above what's considered 'normal' - they just like you to have a fairly high HB count to ensure you're not left lacking. I think (happy to be told I'm wrong but this is a vague memory from having the kids) 10 and over is normal?

I've been turned down with 11.9 which is totally normal and not anaemic, just not as high as they like. Taking iron for a couple of weeks beforehand usually means it's high enough to donate smile

Jdub Mon 21-Jan-13 16:01:59

My HB count was a pathetic 4.1 (which my doc tells me is still the lowest he's seen) hence my transfusion requirements - so big up all your beautifully high HB counts - you rock!!!

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 16:34:06

My word, I'm surprised you were still standing, you must've felt awful!

I got home after my 11.9 knockback and decided to milk it, I walked around like the dying swan. You just don't understand I feel awfullllllll!

Watto1 Mon 21-Jan-13 16:45:03

I have tried and failed to give blood 4 times. I keep failing the finger prick test. I've been told that I'm not anaemic, but Hb is lower than they would like (like bottle says).

If it wasn't for people donating blood, my DM would be dead, my DSis would be dead and my other DSis would never have been born. Thank you to everybody who donates smile

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 16:55:29

Watto, I use Sytrol (I sound like an advert) it's basically iron in a bottle (tastes lovely too, remember when you were a kid and medicine tasted nice? - it's like that) couple of swigs tablespoons a day and you're laughing!

It'll probably bring your HB count high enough. Especially if you swill it down with orange juice and lay off the tea and coffee for a bit grin

Just keep it well away from the kids.

I can't give blood, the US won't take it because I'm English and the English wouldn't take it because mine is incredibly hard to get out and after many frustrating attempts resulting in less than a 1/4 of a pint they told me not to come back. They also didn't like me watching them, they said that most people look away.

DH didn't give for years because he is squeamish but was bullied into it at work when we lived in the UK and came home all "it really wasn't as bad as I thought!" He has big easy veins.

mentlejen Mon 21-Jan-13 18:00:09

Thanks for this thread. I haven't given blood since I started having children and just got out of the habit/hadn't thought about it since I stopped breastfeeding this time round. I just booked into my next local session to donate...

BanoffeeSplitz Mon 21-Jan-13 18:04:26

Tholeon - at the session I went to, I spotted a few rolls of "My Mum Gave Blood Today" stickers, so I think you might be OK wink.

Perhaps phone first so see when is a good time (eg daytime not a busy lunctime or after-work session). You do have to stay on your reclining bed contraption for the 10 mins (?) of the actual donation which might be a problem, but at a quiet time there may well be enough spare nurses / support staff to take care of the DC.

Good question though - not having been since pre-DC, I would've assumed it was difficult to take them. Now having been TBH I think they would be so pleased to see you that they'd bend over backwards to help smile.

BanoffeeSplitz Mon 21-Jan-13 18:06:24

Oh - and there are plentiful minipacks of biscuits, crisps, cups of water to be fetched etc which would help with distracting an older DC.

Watto1 Mon 21-Jan-13 19:48:36

Thanks for the recommendation bottle. I'll give it a go!

amyboo Mon 21-Jan-13 20:51:05

I'd love to give blood. But the Red Cross in most EU countries that I know of (I live in Belgium) won't accept blood/organs from people who lived in the UK for 6 months or more in the eighties. We all have CJD, or areat risk of it apparently. I gave blood twice before I left the UK though.

missorinoco Mon 21-Jan-13 20:53:22

Is there a consensus on weight? I am under the cut off, but only by a kg or so; it says "May". Anyone given blood under 50kg recently?

I haven't given blood since pre children, but I don't recall the rule then. Presume they don't weigh you, one could just lie....

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 21:00:43

Hmmm some people are perfectly healthy at 7st 12lb - it's just the way they're made and it seems odd that they should be considered too small to donate. I used to weigh a little less than that but was never ridiculously thin, I wore a size ten.

Ok, if your normal weight is two stone heavier and you've lost loads through stress or whatever but if it's totally normal for you I don't see why not? what if you're four foot ten? they are very strict though, any variations and they're double checking and often say no.

Still, worth a try and see what they say?

MrsHoarder Mon 21-Jan-13 21:06:12

The weight thing isn't a health thing, its making sure you have enough blood to donate and still be healthy. Lighter people have less blood..

StickEmUp Mon 21-Jan-13 21:10:17

Im glad to see some many people coming forward to donate form this thread.
I feel so bas adter my turnaround i cant donate.

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 21:59:08

Well yes, but if a person is say 7st 10lb but has a great HB level it seems daft to rule them out.

It should be done on a case by case basis rather than ruling people straight out when in actual fact they might be absolutely fine to donate.

Mandy21 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:26:56

I haven't read all the posts - but I'm a donor - my Dad was a keen supporter and took my sister and I on our 18th birthday as a "birthday treat". We've been donating ever since.

Fast forward quite a few years and giving birth to premature twins - I know lots of people are squeamish and have a low pain threshold but if you ever witness doctors trying to put a cannula into a 2lb baby (whose veins are thinner than a piece of cotton) as they need a blood transfusion - and its your flesh & blood - you'd be so thankful that people have put themselves through half an hour of discomfort.

The adverts do really capture what its all about - it genuinely is the most generous thing you can do.

GreenGateGeorge Mon 21-Jan-13 22:48:29

I went with my husband to give blood (he's also on the bone marrow register) with the intention of giving blood. He was having some blood taken and they suggested I watch so I would be aware of what was happening. I have a very severe phobia of needles but I thought I could just grow up and handle it. Unfortunately just the sight of him having his blood taken made me vomit and faint. I also fainted and threw up when I had a very necessary blood test a few months ago. The blood donation people suggested that I don't give blood- if you're that bad it's best you don't waste their time and resources. I know people that give blood, however, and do not want to be organ donors, whereas my husband and I have an agreement that we will literally bury a bag of bits if possible- everything that can be used will be used in the event of our deaths, including bits that people are funny about like skin, eyes, bones, etc. I don't mind if they literally flay me, but I really don't think I am going to be able to sit having a pint of blood pumped out of my arm. You're not being unreasonable, and it's not the same as can't be bothered. If you are in need of a blood transfusion it's a medical decision that's usually taken when you're out of action. Do what you can- it's not the end of the world smile

expatinscotland Mon 21-Jan-13 22:52:35

If anyone's on the fence and looking for some inspiration, my offer still stands: PM me and I'll be happy to provide you with photos of my brave, beautiful little girl, whose fellow patients present and future need us! smile

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 23:03:06

I'll donate on Monday in her honour! smile

expatinscotland Mon 21-Jan-13 23:07:20

And it's really wonderful to see so many who have tried or are giving blood with Aillidh in mind. smile

girlynut Mon 21-Jan-13 23:10:43

My parents took me along to the blood donors on my 18th birthday (should have been down the pub really!) and, other than breaks when I had our two children, I've always donated. Also on the Anthony Nolan trust bone marrow register.

Recently, I failed the "pin prick" test tube test thingy. Rather than sinking, the blood drop merrily floated there in the tube. Fortunately, the nurse offered me the option of taking some blood from my arm and testing it in a little machine. I hit the magic number and was able to donate. Will be making sure I eat lots of liver and broccolli the day before my next donation!

If you're likely to faint or vomit, it's probably best not to bother. I told the nurse what a wuss my DP was for not donating but she explained that a fainting patient takes up a bed for too long and that they'd rather take two donations in that time.

bottleofbeer Mon 21-Jan-13 23:15:01

My husband practically fainted. I swear to god I was so embarrassed. I looked over and there were nurses fanning him with leaflets and he was lying there all grey.

I marched him home and showed him his arse!

apostropheuse Mon 21-Jan-13 23:29:25

expat My mother died of acute myeoloid leukemia, after being ill for only three months. It was a horrible disease. It was bad enough losing my mother to it when she was 62; I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like for you to lose your darling daughter to it.

I used to give blood fairly regularly, but the last few times I've been turned down for one reason or another. Problem with my platelets, because I had a headache, anaemic etc. This thread has made me want to go back and try again.

Good luck to all of you who are struggling with nerves over this. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 21-Jan-13 23:55:05

I wish I could. I used to, when I was younger. Unfortunately those who have had a transfusion aren't allowed to give. I am sure if they removed this restriction, they would have more donors. Those of us who have received a transfusion know just how important the blood is!

Well done donors smile

They say you're not meant to donate for 9 months after giving birth, but I'm considering bending the truth (a little) to give after 6 months. My blood iron levels are now great so I don't think it's an overly risky thing to do. This will be donation number 20!! Have mentioned to my GP just to be sure though, and she agreed that she didn't know of any evidence contraindicating it.

This thread has reminded me to try to book an appointment smile

Ah, just reread the guidelines and it actually says to wait for 6 months now. No need for any guilt in booking to donate then - hurrah!

Rachc19 Tue 22-Jan-13 00:57:17

You can now give blood 6 months after giving birth.

boomting Tue 22-Jan-13 04:14:41

I would give blood, but unfortunately I can't for several different reasons, including having had a blood transfusion in the past and not meeting the minimum weight requirement (I'm just short, not underweight).

rockinhippy Tue 22-Jan-13 09:57:32

I would & have done in the past, but I'm not allowed anymore for medical reasons -

DH does but they don't make it easy for him, so I don't think they do themselves any favours at all, it used to beat a very accessible very central hotel, now it's a bus ride away on one side of town, not much help to people who have to work, or live the opposite side of town, especially when our parking is so bad & so expensive.

They also seem to have inexperienced training nurses up there, DH more often than not has come home in a mess - last time he was bruised almost the entire length of his inner arm & very sore too, not the first time they've done that either & he has veins that you would have to be blind to miss - dread to think how they cope with people with invisible veins like mine - its something he feels very strongly about doing & has always done it, but so far he hasn't been back as a result, so I dread to think how many more they have put off with the clinics current location & slap happy taking of blood sad

bottleofbeer Tue 22-Jan-13 10:03:34

TBH they're miserable sods at the one I go to.

rockinhippy Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:54

& I agree its not conditional, when I could give, I wouldn't have wanted my blood to be available only to others who gave, its free for all who need smile

comixminx Tue 22-Jan-13 10:16:55

I haven't given recently as DS isn't yet six months old, but he's not far off that now so I will get a wiggle on once he is. I had quite a struggle getting accepted at first: quite a few times with low iron or having been abroad to the wrong place or whatever. In addition I was born in Brazil and my mum's Brazilian too so they had to test for Chaga's disease. I was worried I'd get through ll the other hurdles and then fail at that one! But luckily not, and I've given a few times, though not loads and loads. I am pleased though that when we got together I mentioned it to DP who had not got round to donating for many years; kick-started him back into going and he's been pretty regularly over the past five plus years!

Someone did mention it upthread but do drink water beforehand or while you're waiting, it makes a big difference to the plumpness of the veins in my case at least and I assume generally.

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