The last in my blog series about the services we offer to our NHS, that is until the NHS thinks of something else we can help carry. This time we are going to look at blood.
If you are a blood donor well done. Like us, giving blood is entirely voluntary and helps saves lives. If you don’t give blood have a think about it. Visit the Welsh Blood Service for more information
Giving a blood donation is not the end of the story though. Our NHS is determined to ensure the blood or blood products a patient receives are in the best possible condition and so go through a rigorous screening process with each donated unit being traced back to an individual donor. Your donated blood has a shelf life and needs to continually be replaced and is constantly used so don’t stop donating.
We’re all familiar with blood types and often we carry samples to allow matching. Sometimes our hospitals have the right blood but in the wrong place so we have to move it to the patient for them. Such was the case of Julie who’s daughter approached one of our bucket collections to express her gratitude and eventually appeared in one of our fundraising videos (click on the picture to play).
Both Wales’ Air Ambulances carry blood on board to start treating a patient with heavy blood loss as soon as they reach the scene. A few months ago we signed a service level agreement with North Wales Air Ambulance to replenish their blood supplies and within a few days had to respond to a ‘Code Red’. Air ambulances are themselves charities funded by public donation so by providing our service for free we help them too.
A specific blood transport and the story of an inspirational young lady is the reason I am motivated to keep doing this. Emily attended the same school as my 3 daughters and had been diagnosed with cancer. This she had beaten once but shortly before Christmas a few years ago it reappeared and Emily was told she had to have an operation. The operation on Christmas Eve was successful but before Emily could go home a blood transfusion was needed. A Blood Biker, on Christmas Eve, carried that blood and Emily got home just in time for Christmas. Thank you to Emily’s mum for sharing this with me.
So that’s why I do this. That Christmas was so very important to that family and if by giving my time I can help our NHS give one family or one loved one a Christmas, or even just one more day together I’ll consider my time well spent.