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JohnD

Be a Blood Donor, please?

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If you're not one already, please consider becoming a blood donor.    The idea puts many people off, but I promise, it is almost (!) painless and one of the simplest, easiest, most public spirited things you can do.

I ask, because I was recruited into a massive study, "Interval", that looked at 45,000 donors to ask how often is it safe to take blood from donors.   At present, it is set at 12 weeks for males and 16 for females, but  the need for blood transfusions is so great that the Blood Transfusion Service can barely keep up.   This 'interval' is much longer than used in some other European contries, for instance it is 8 and 12 weeks in Finland, France and Germany.    These are based on guesstimates, as this study is the first ever randomised trial to evaluate the efficiency and safety of varying the frequency of whole blood donation.     It means that when there is increased demand, disaster or just the normal variation, donors could be safely asked to give more often.     The Report has just been published in The Lancet, no less!  See: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352302619301061?via%3Dihub

Every time a donor arrives to give blood, a nurse checks their haemoglobin level and asks about any symptoms that could mean they should defer their donation to another day.    The study found that this system did lead to slight increase in the deferral rate, but that if applied to all donors, could acheive an increase in donation of 33% for men or 24% for women.    This would add up to about 75,000 extra units of blood a year.   The paper also looked at the total iron stores in the donors' bodies over the four year study, and found no significant effect with more frequent donation.

But you need not read the article to see my point.     Blood donors are badly needed, so badly that this study was deemed to be necessary.      So if you feel you can, make an appointment at your local blood donor clinic!    Just enter your town or postcode here, and give them a ring:   https://www.blood.co.uk/

Thank you!

John

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I was told many years ago because of my heart condition that I should not give blood, maybe it's time I asked again to see if advice has changed over the years. Especially since I had the problem rectified by surgery a few years ago.

 

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Hello John

                     117 for me at the last count!

I recon that is about 12.5 Galls (I feel weak)

What I do like now is you get a text message to say where it has been sent sometime after and it gives me a nice warm glow to think I have helped someone

Roger

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John

A commendable sentiment and I can only offer a bit of local colour.  I am disbarred from giving blood here in Poland because... I lived in the UK between 1980 and 1990.

The health service's opinion here is that there is insufficient data to be certain when vCJD ceases to be a risk.

I wonder if anybody kept tabs on John Selwyn-Gummer's daughter after burger-gate..?

Paul

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I have got my son and son in law to give and I bang on about it to all and as a cousin of mine said if you are prepared to receive you should be prepared to give if you can!

Roger

pps my late Mother took me to our first session she was found to be anaemic and never gave but received and I have carried on since 18 when they used GLASS bottles in what looked like milk crates(them were the good old days no PC rubbish?) 

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I donate fairly regularly ,(spent last Friday in a community hall giving a pint of Sussex A+)

Trouble I have is actually being able to book in. Never less than ³ months wait, no after when I last donated.

I asked one of the blood-removers about why, when there seems to be massive demand. Appears donation rate is regional. Us southerners are very generous, but northerners are not so keen. Apparently. And not what many would expect.

 

(Bizarrely, when I was waiting, there was a bloke wandering about, and did donate, wearing a very Dracula style cape. Tried to get a pic, but missed. )

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Zetec,

Here are the actual figures, of new donations, by region, from the NHS BTS's own website:

Map showing new blood donations by region

Yes, London and the South East appear to lead the rest, but that ignores population.

A quick Google and Excel reveals this, for 2017/2018: 

  New.Don/Million As % of mean
South East 2763 103
London 2450 91
North West 2795 104
East 2722 101
West Midlands 2221 83
South West 3072 114
Yorks & Humber 2662 99
East Midlands 2851 106
North East 2631 98

And clearly shows that there is no significant difference between regions in their willingness to donate.

I'll be grateful if you'll recognise that, Zetec.  And that, as a trend, Northeners are MORE willing to donate than Londoners.

John
 

Edited by JohnD

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ps Forgot to say the Memsahib also gives and on about 75 + 117 = 192 = 42galls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that's nearly a steel barrel full 205lt!!!!)

I did wrong calculation before mine is about 26 galls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I feel even weaker now)

We agree with Clive it is always difficult to get a booking in the timescale without travelling some distance.

We always go for afternoon sessions as I think I should leave the evening ones to the poor souls that have to work!

Roger

pps that's a lot of black pudding?

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10 hours ago, JohnD said:

Zetec,

Here are the actual figures, of new donations, by region, from the NHS BTS's own website:

Map showing new blood donations by region

Yes, London and the South East appear to lead the rest, but that ignores population.

A quick Google and Excel reveals this, for 2017/2018: 

  New.Don/Million As % of mean
South East 2763 103
London 2450 91
North West 2795 104
East 2722 101
West Midlands 2221 83
South West 3072 114
Yorks & Humber 2662 99
East Midlands 2851 106
North East 2631 98

And clearly shows that there is no significant difference between regions in their willingness to donate.

I'll be grateful if you'll recognise that, Zetec.  And that, as a trend, Northeners are MORE willing to donate than Londoners.

John
 

It was the blood collector who told me. Besides, that chart is new donations, not total donations. Any chance you can find details for the totals?

As I stated, I will have to book soon to get a donation slot before the new year, or possibly easter.

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Ineligible...... due to cancer history..... for life presumably :ermm:

Was previously turned down (long time ago admittedly) for having lived in a part of Africa noted for it's HIV infection rates!  Senior Management is a regular though.....

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On 9/17/2019 at 3:36 PM, PaulAA said:

 I am disbarred from giving blood here in Poland because... I lived in the UK between 1980 and 1990.

The health service's opinion here is that there is insufficient data to be certain when vCJD ceases to be a risk.

Paul

We can't donate here in Canada for the same reason.

 

Graeme

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I was a doner John, for a number of years and me with a severe dislike of needles

 

Now, they don't want my blood.

Too many drugs in it apparently even though my GP has written to them explaining that the presence of Amitriptyline and Pregabalin can have no detrimental effect on those who may receive it.

A shame, but, I can't really criticise the Blood Transfusion Service for being care.

Better safe than sorry

 

John

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I used to when I was in the UK, but same, since moving abroad.  In fact I just checked the Red Cross Luxembourg site and they state that it's actually an international thing...

Quote
Si vous avez séjourné entre 1980 et 1996 au Royaume-Uni (Angleterre, Pays de Galles, Écosse, Irlande du Nord, Channel Islands, Isle of Man) pendant une durée cumulée de plus de 12 mois ou si vous avez reçu une transfusion sanguine ou avez été opéré au Royaume-Uni après le 1er janvier 1980, sachez que les critères internationaux ne permettent actuellement pas au Centre de Transfusion Sanguine de vous accepter comme donneur de sang.

Basically, if you stayed in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man) for a combined total of more than 12 months between 1980-1996 or if you were given a blood transfusion or operated on in the UK after 1 Jan 1980, understand that the international criteria don't allow the blood transfusion center to accept you as a donor.

:(

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There used to be a simple age limit on giving blood, but they have abolished that now, for established donors, although you can't start when you're old.  And I'm now an ex-blood donor, because of the treatment I'm on.   But a lot of the criteria are guesstimates, extremely precautionary, which with the history in mind of HIV, Hepatitis C and CJD we cannot object to.   The Interval study will inform that ignorance.

But my reason for posting was to show how necessary the study was, not just for medical curiosity, but to tell if the BTS could safely allow donors to give more frequently, in the face of their recurring blood shortages.     I hope to encourage anyone who isn't a donor to roll up their sleeve and do the right thing!     Full marks to anyone like John  who hates the needle!    He shows that fear like that can be overcome, helped it should be said by the skill of the BTS nurses.

JOhn

Edited by JohnD

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Gave blood once, took a big brave pill as don't like needles which i blame on that b*stard school dentist who when ever he visited everyone had a jab and a filling of some sort.

Anyway they kindly told me my blood group in the post and said don't give blood again we will call you, i moved house...

Well i did but not because of that, anyway because of the stupid places i have been i can't give blood anyway, hope the first donor appreciated it.

RR

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39 minutes ago, JMH said:

From memory next time will be no. 20 :-)

Hello

             It gets easier honest!

But remember if you are prepared to receive you should be prepared to give!

But Well done 

Roger

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Like others I am now barred from donating because of medication, but the NHS isn't helping itself these days. It used to be easy to donate - the team came round our works twice a year and you just queued up when you were free. Then they decided to cut the size of the team and wanted prior appointments which was awkward because you had no idea when you would be available in advance, so a lot of people stopped going.  Now the team doesn't visit at all and you have to attend one of the 'local' clinics - again by appointment only having first registered on-line.  Too much of a faff for many I expect. 

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I used to donate (30+ units).  When the sessions went to appointment based I missed one through work commitments, though I did give 24hrs notice by phone.  After that I stopped receiving invitation letters.  When I rang up to enquire I was told they had enough donors and they'd add me to the waiting list.  Haven't heard a thing since.  I guess there's not much demand for common O+...

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Please don't knock the NHS or the BTS if you can't just roll up to donate, or if they don't come around to your works any more.   The reason is, they can't afford it!

The BTS charges Health Authorities, hospitals etc. for the use of its products, that's it's income, but those charges are set by the Gov.    See the BTS Annual report for 2017/18, page 69.   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/732455/NHS_Blood_and_Transplant_2017-18_Printing_of_Accounts_Web_Accessible_AMENDED__1_.pdf   They were in deficit - they spent more than they earned - to the tune of £10 million, twice what it was the previous year.       It is more expensive to employ nurses and support staff to go out to non-clinical places to collect blood, and to have enough to be available for the casual donor in a 'walk-in clinic'..      Efficiency demands that only appointments can achieve the necessary cost cutting.

Yes, it is, for many, "too much of a faff", but would it be  a faff if you wanted a GP appointment for your bleeding ulcer?   You would sit by that phone, dialling every 30 seconds until you got an answer.

 

And a waiting list?    Andy, please look at this, the NICE Guidelines on Blood Transfusion: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng24     You don't have to read very far, page two in fact, to find "Alternatives to blood transfusion"    These include giving iron tablets to anyone with iron deficiency anaemia, or Intravenous iron infusions, giving tranexamic acid and using cell salvage if much blood is likely to be lost.

The first, iron supplements, is OK in tablet form, even if it turns your stools black and gives you constipation, but infusions are nasty!   Very irritant to the inside of the vein!

The second is a drug that can inhibit the natural dissolution of blood clots, so that they have a better chance of stopping surgical bleeding.   But look at the limit - 500mls!  thats the rough equivalent of one pint, or ten per cent of normal blood volume.    Many intermediate, and most major operations will lose that much

And cell savers!    These are complex, expensive bits of kit, that the surgeon can use to suck up spilt blood.   It is then filtered, washed and resuspended in an IV compatible fluid so that the patient can get it back into their veins again!     Usually reserved for "Major Plus" surgery.

 

NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) will only  recommend a procedure or product if it is cost effective.    If they are doing so for these then blood is so costly/in short supply that its use must be conserved as much as possible!

As the title of this thread says, and if you are able to  "Be a Blood Donor, Please!" and go to the little trouble that it takes to do so.     You can definitely give yourself a pat on the back as a Good Citizen when you do!

JOhn

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On 9/17/2019 at 11:36 PM, PaulAA said:

John

A commendable sentiment and I can only offer a bit of local colour.  I am disbarred from giving blood here in Poland because... I lived in the UK between 1980 and 1990.

The health service's opinion here is that there is insufficient data to be certain when vCJD ceases to be a risk.

I wonder if anybody kept tabs on John Selwyn-Gummer's daughter after burger-gate..?

Paul

Poland's heath service is wise in that. The UK vCJD  may not be a thing of the past, the slower-acting-prions (our genes) may yet start to become apparent as symptomatic disease. In PNG kuru, closely related to vCJD  has been shown to lie dormant for five decades.   Peter

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Other countries are not alone in that they don't want to import blood products.   Importing blood clotting products for haemophiliacs from abroad was a heinous NHS error that infected so many with Hepatitis C and HIV.    It is a 'prime directive' of the BTS today to be self-sufficient, to produce all blood and blood products for the NHS from within the UK.

JOhn

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They will not take mine either coz of meds. Dr says no reason not to.

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Of course, old donors don't die, they get stopped from being donors!

THAT'S WHY MORE ARE NEEDED!      

It's why I'm posting this - I wnat to ensure I'm replaced!     TRy and get your younger family members, colleagues to take yours!

JOhn

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