#014 – Give Blood

by Elizabeth on September 25, 2008 · 3 comments

in 101 in 1001, Health & Fitness, Life

Part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge.

It’s one of those things that we just expect to be there for us, but only a very small proportion (1 in 30) of people actually give blood. Yet sooner or later, one in three of us will need it.

Today I gave blood for the first time. It is something I have wanted to do for quite a long time, but in the past I’ve always been turned away because I was asthmatic. Even though my asthma isn’t serious, they weren’t comfortable with me donating if I had taken Ventolin that day as sometimes donating blood can trigger an attack.

I know my asthma, and so today I took a firm approach in my interview. I told them that I take Ventolin every day after I brush my teeth (toothpaste tends to aggravate things for me), and that I manage my symptoms reliably. I assured her that I felt no different today than I do on any other day, and that Ventolin is now just a part of my routine.

That’s all the nurse needed to hear. She checked my blood pressure, pricked my finger to check my iron (it was super) and made sure I’d had enough to eat and drink that day. Then it was over to the chair, a quick needle prick and a relaxing six minutes while I filled the bag with 500mL of blood. Easy.

Once we were done, Tim and I sat in the refreshments area and helped ourselves to cheese & biscuits, fruitcake, drinks and lollies. How good is that?

If you have ever thought about donating blood, but have never gotten around to it, I hope you’ll consider locking in a time. The Australian Red Cross website says that their blood levels are dangerously low right now, so it’s the perfect time to make a commitment. You can find out if you’re eligible to give blood by doing their online quiz.

I found some interesting information on their site about the way blood is used. Like most people, I guess, I had assumed that the majority of donated blood went to accident victims and surgical patients (I blame TV).


If you are in Australia, you can call 13 14 95 to make an appointment, or visit the Red Cross Blood Service at www.donateblood.com.au.

If you are in the USA, you can see a list of your local Red Cross regions at www.givelife.org.

If you have information about donating blood in your country, leave the details here in a comment and I’ll add them to this post. I’d also love to hear stories from anybody who has donated blood, or been a recipient!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

erin September 26, 2008 at 9:36 am

In Canada you can call 1-800-2-DONATE and find out when the clinics are happening in your area.

Giving blood is something that I have also always meant to do and have never got around to. Thanks for the reminder.


Louise September 26, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Well done, and I love your display/information etc. It makes me feel sad that the Blood bank told me not to bother, as it’s too hard to get blood out of me 🙁


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