Tuesday 12 November 2019

Would you like to help save lives?

Irish Blood Transfusion donors group from Skerries.
Irish Blood Transfusion donors group from Skerries.

Would you like to try to help save lives?

The opportunity is here. Blood donation really does save lives. While 1 in 4 people in Ireland will need a blood transfusion at some stage in their lives, only 3% of those eligible to donate right now are active donors.

“Every new donor, every new donation, saves lives”, is the message from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) who points out that “we all have a role to play”. They are asking people across Ireland to think about becoming first time blood donors. Those who have donated before are being asked to come back and regularly attend blood donation clinics more often.

Did you know that you are entitled to give blood every 90 days? Why not mark this in your calendar. The average donation per donor in Ireland is 1.18 times in the year and the aim is to now increase this. Interested donors are encouraged to visit the giveblood.ie to check whether they are eligible to give blood and to find out where upcoming clinics are happening.

“When you give blood you might be helping your family, your neighbour or even yourself as 1 in 4 of us will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime”, says the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

“For many people it’s something they absolutely believe in and understand it is important - but they just never get round to doing it despite their good intentions. For many others, particularly younger people, it is something that often doesn't register with them and is maybe something older people do – but when they think about it and understand how important it is and how few actually give blood, they become very keen to get involved.”

Here are five reasons your blood donation can make a massive change:

1. Blood only lasts 35 days

Giving blood is an act of selfless generosity. Blood only lasts 35 days and is often used within 7 days of collection. IBTS aims to have over 7 days supply at any time but is often operating well below this, particularly for certain blood groups.

2. Blood cannot be made synthetically

Blood is not frozen nor made synthetically. Each unit transfused to a seriously ill patient comes from a donor in Ireland from an act of pure selfless generosity by giving up a few hours of their time every few months to attend a clinic and give blood.

3. You can help fight cancer

67% of donated blood is used in the treatment of cancer (as those undergoing chemo lose the ability to make their own red cells). Most families in Ireland will have been affected by cancer in some way and donating blood can make a massive difference.

4. It’s a lifeline in the Emergency Room

We read about accidents and emergencies and often feel powerless but you can make a difference. 27% of donated blood is used in Surgery and Emergency Room situations (a car crash patient can require up to 30 units of blood to save their life).

5. You can help babies and newborns

6% of donated blood is used for newborn and premature babies and childbirth complications. Your donation will provide a vital lifeline for them at the most vulnerable stage in their lives.


Seven remarkable donors say “join in”

People in the town of Skerries in North County Dublin have come together in a remarkable way to give blood and save lives. This tightly knit community hosts a clinic four times a year.

Regular donors include Laura Boylan (25) is a firefighter and RNLI volunteer; Taxi driver John Spencer, who is a father of six and like his father before him, now donates blood and has been a regular donor since the age of 18 and encourages others to “join in”.

Aga Daly, originally from Poland, a member of the local theatre group donates for others and for her son “as you’ll never know if you will need blood”. Tom Mulvany is one of the youngest donors at only 19. He is an engineering student and keen rugby and GAA player. His parents were his inspiration for donating as they also donate. He is a neonatal donor as his blood is suitable for newborn or premature babies.

Family man Conor Nally, who is in his 50s, came to blood donation later in life after finishing playing rugby. He is very active in his local community and said: “I am really really keen to recruit other donors”.

Mother and daughter Gráinne and Sarah, a teacher and student teacher, in addition to having their career in common both also donate. “We want to spread the word and get more people to try blood donation for the first time and give it a go.

Every new donor, every new donation, saves lives – find out more here. Every one counts.

See the website to check your eligibility and find a clinic near you.

Also contact the donor line 1850 731137 if you want more information.

Sponsored by: Irish Blood Transfusion Service

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