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UK Insights

39% of UK say they have given blood

Kirsty Cooke

UK Editor

Health 13.06.2018 / 07:00

blood

With World Blood Donor Day tomorrow, many are encouraged to reflect on potential life-saving actions.

June 14th is World Blood Donor Day. The Day was originally designed to thank and acknowledge voluntary blood donors and encourage blood donation and new donors, especially by representing how blood donations have saved and changed lives. It can also encourage younger people, who might be a bit nervous or unsure about giving blood, to sign up and start donating, and to highlight the importance and impact of regularly donating blood.

According to a survey by Lightspeed, 39% of people in the UK say that they have given blood. The ratio across all ages and genders of donors to non-donors is about 2 to 3. The highest percentage of donors occurs in the age groups of 25-34 (45% have given blood) and 55-64 (47%).

Those aged 17-24 were most likely to say that they had not given blood, with 66% reporting that they hadn’t.

Men and women were equally likely to be (or have been) blood donors; 40% of men and 38% of women say they have donated blood at any time. Men can give blood every 12 weeks, and women can give blood every 16 weeks. 

Who can donate blood?

Of course, not everyone can give blood, and there are many reasons why someone might choose not to do it. A donor must be over 17 and between 50 and 160 kg to give blood, and there are upper age limits for new donors. Donors must be fit and healthy.

Before donating, prospective donors must fill out a registration form. In addition, they must complete a health check. It is also advised that prospective donors browse the NHS Blood and Transplant website to confirm their eligibility and read the Welcome Leaflet in order to prepare.

When donating, a small blood sample will be taken in order to ensure that the donor has the proper haemoglobin levels for safe donation. A standard donation only takes about 10 minutes but it can make you feel a little dizzy for the rest of the day.  

The benefits

While there are a few inconveniences involved in donating blood, there are far greater reasons to donate if you are able to. 6000 donations every day are required to treat patients in need. In addition, every year, 200,000 more donors are required to replace donors who have recently become ineligible, mostly due to age. As the 17-24 age group has the highest percentage of non-donors, there is an urgency for more young people to begin donating blood in order to replace the recently-ineligible donors.

Source : Lightspeed

Editor's Notes

Lightspeed surveyed 1009 people through its LifePoints mobile app. 

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