Are you a blood donor?
In the UK there are currently nearly a million active blood donors whose blood is set aside at hospitals for patients in need. This blood is vital if you face an emergency and need a transfusion, however where the blood comes from won’t be something that perhaps would cross your mind until you need it. Cord blood collection and storage company, Smart Cells, are raising awareness to encourage more people to donate blood and create awareness around donation and its importance.
The different blood groups
There are four main types of blood groups, which are broken down to what percentage of the population in the UK have each type; they are:
A: 42% of the UK population
B: 10% of the UK population
O: 44% of the UK population
AB: 4% of the UK population
All blood groups except for type O have the option to receive blood from one or more other blood groups. Anyone with blood type O is considered a universal donor; and is given to anyone, which is why its most commonly used, such as in situations where a patient’s blood type is unknown. However, patients with blood type O can only have their blood type. To complicate matters further these four blood types groups then separate down further into Rh-positive or Rh-negative, giving us eight blood types in total, the image below explains the types and who can have what blood type.
If you wish to start donating blood, you need to see if you are eligible and you must meet a set criteria which determines whether or not you can donate, or if you have to wait a period of time to donate. Many people aren’t aware of their blood type, with many only learning what their type is through donations, pregnancy or hospital procedures.
If you are eligible to donate, you may also be able to donate more than just your whole blood; this includes platelet, plasma and peripheral blood stem cells. These along with whole blood donations are used to treat a variety of conditions these include:
Giving blood not only save lives but it can also transform lives, it’s easy to do and only requires a short amount of your time. There are donation centres all around the country and mobile units running as well, so it’s easy to find somewhere local to you. Plus after you donate, you also get a nice hot drink and a biscuit!
Shamshad Ahmed, CEO at Smart Cells, commented:
“Using the knowledge of our expert team at Smart Cells to highlight and support important awareness causes such as blood donation and collection is of utmost importance to us. While the risk of running low on supplies of a specific blood type is very small, we wanted to highlight the significance of ensuring that everyone considers donating. Our guide does so by outlining how blood donations work so that those who might be worried about the process won’t be put off, as well as explaining what conditions blood donations can help with. The importance of this is something that many don’t truly understand until someone close to them requires a transfusion.”