Today I donated blood for the first time ever and it was so much easier (and way less painful) than I ever imagined.
If you have ever considered donating blood I highly recommend that you book yourself an appointment pronto! I know for me personally, donating blood has been on my 'bucket list' for as long as I can remember but my dislike for needles put me off for way longer than I now know it should have.
So what's it like to donate blood for the first time?
You can do this quickly and easily online. The Red Cross have mobile blood donation units, as well as blood donation centres. I choose to book into a centre as they were open on the weekends when I was available to donate.
Step 2 - Show up and fill out your details.
On arrival you will be given a questionnaire to fill out with your health and medical details. Obviously everyone wants the best quality blood possible for future recipients and the safety of the donor also needs to be considered, thus it's important to be honest when filling out your forms.
Step 3 - Interview.
I was taken to a small room where a really lovely lady checked over my details and double checked any areas of concern. Then I was weighed, had my blood pressure taken and was given a pin prick test to check my Haemoglobin levels.
Step 4 - Donate.
I was then taken to a large room with a few people already in it donating blood. I was sat in a big comfy chair and a technician explained how they would be taking the blood. The needle was bigger than the ones used for blood tests but I choose not to look at it until it was in my arm and it honestly did not hurt as much as I was expecting (and much less than a normal blood test). Also, unlike a blood test I couldn't feel the blood being drained at all. The whole donation process took about 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Rest and Revive.
I was then lead out to the café section of the centre where another lovely lady made me up a caramel milkshake and I was provided with a selection of delicious treats. I choose a choc chip cookie and lollipop (felt like a kid leaving the doctors office). I sat in the café for 10 minutes consuming my goodies and making sure I felt totally fine before I was off on my way.
Step 6 - Feel Awesome!
Enjoy the rest of your day, knowing that you have made an awesome contribution to society and saved 3 lives from just one donation!