Dancing Giraffe has always supported and encouraged Blood and Platelet Doning. We interviewed the Chief Executive, Susan Pattrick during National Blood Week (19th – 25th June) to find out what she has been doing to support the service.
There are four main types of blood groups. These are O, A, B and AB and each one will be Rhesus Positive or Rhesus Negative. This will be identified by the Blood Doning team when you give blood or platelets for the first time.
Susan says “I am O rhesus positive shown normally as O+ which means that my donations can be given to groups A and AB but not to O Rhesus Negative – shown as O- because the antibodies in my blood would be identified as foreign bodies by the recipient’s body and it would attack the cells being infused”.
How Platelets Can Help
Susan says “Over the years, from the time I was 18 years old, I have donated many pints of blood but in recent years have become a platelet donor. The reason I have done this is because the platelets that I provide can help up to 9 people, approximately 5 adults and four children.”
Platelets can help:
- Cancer patients whose own platelets are destroyed by radiotherapy
- People who suffer from Factor 8 where their own blood does not clot and they have to have transfusions to save their lives (platelets help clot blood)
- People who have anaemia
- People with blood disorders
- People who are having surgery
- People who are having a transplant
- People who are terminal who have a transfusion to improve the quality of their lives. This gives them precious quality time with their families.
“If you can give blood, I would encourage you to do so. It doesn’t hurt but can help so many people and after the donation, provided it is not your first donation, you can have a cup of tea and cake or biscuit. Your red cells and platelets will be made up by your own blood from your bone marrow within 24 hours of the donation and there are no after effects”.
The current appeal from the NHS Blood Doning team is for blood donors from the Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities. Rare sub types of blood are more common in Black Communities and the reason why appeals are being made for these people to give blood. It helps to keep the blood stock levels at an optimum for emergencies.
If you wish to give a blood donation please ring 0300 123 23 23 or go online at https://www.blood.co.uk/ and register. The team will arrange for you to go to your nearest blood doning centre.