*How can I donate blood?
You will need to answer some questions about your health and have a quick blood test before you can donate blood. This is done to ensure there is no danger to yourself or someone else.
During a blood donation, a needle is used to collect 350-450ml (just under one pint) of your blood.
You will need to rest for a short while after a donation and refreshments will be offered to stop you feeling faint or dizzy.
It is usually recommended that men allow 12 weeks and women 16 weeks between donations.
*How is donated blood used?
In most cases, your blood will be separated into its component parts so it can be used to treat a variety of conditions. These components are:
• Red Blood Cells – used to treat some types of anaemia and replace blood lost as the result of an accident
• Platelets – used to treat problems with bone marrow, such as leukaemia and people with blood clotting disorders
• Plasma – used to treat conditions where abnormal clotting causes bleeding, such as liver disease, and where large volumes of blood have been lost
*Who can donate blood?
Most people between the ages of 17 and 65 can donate blood, although you must be in good general health to reduce the risk to recipients of donated blood, there are rules about who can and cannot donate blood.
For example, people who have ever had HIV, syphilis or hepatitis C can never donate blood.
However, some more common things, such as having a recent piercing or taking certain medication, may also mean you cannot donate blood.