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Donating Blood in the UK

First time donor sticker
First time donor sticker

This Halloween, I decided to donate blood in the UK for the first time. Having previously donated blood in Canada from 2013-2014, I knew what to expect. (You can also read about my experience in this post.) My experience in the UK was very similar to my previous blood donations in Canada, except for a few minor differences:

  1. There are jugs of juice and water available whilst donors wait for his/her turn. We are encouraged to drink 500ml of water for 5min to help us during and after donation. In Vancouver, Canada (at least at the clinic I went to), we were expected to do this before going in.
  2. After the blood prick to test one’s haemoglobin level, the blood droplet is put into a blue solution.
  3. We donate on a reclining chair! I thought this was very neat.
  4. We are encouraged to do some exercises on our own during and after donating: crossing and uncrossing legs, clenching legs and buttocks for 5 seconds, then releasing for 10 seconds.
  5. I was asked if I was interested in booking for my next appointment after donating – rather than upon check-in, as I was used to in Canada.

Needles are scary but not so scary at a nice Blood Donor Clinic where the staff thank you for offering to donate blood to those who need it! Visit blood.co.uk for more information.