Blood donation might seem frightening if your foremost thought is that of a needle being inserted into you to extract a blood sample. In reality, it is a rather comfortable process and one which requires very little time, yet a single donation can save the lives of three people who urgently need blood. If you, a family member or a friend needed blood quickly, you would be pleading for a donation to arrive, and yet up to 90% of people who can give blood don’t do so.
There are certain factors which remove your suitability to donate blood (for instance, if you’ve received a blood donation any time since 1980, or if you’ve recently had an operation), while not all blood types are compatible. However, no matter what your blood type, there is likely to be demand for it, so your donation will not be inconsequential.
Saving lives doesn’t require superhuman acts of courage or instinctive quick thinking. Something as simple as sacrificing a unit of your blood can give another person a second chance in life. That other person is somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother, best friend…and your unselfish deed could allow them a substantial extension to his or her life.
Infographic from Union Quay Medical Centre (http://www.unionquaymedicalcentre.ie/general-practice.html)