Whole blood donation

Whole blood donation is the most common form of donation and involves giving just under one pint (470ml) of blood.

Donors can give every 16 weeks, which is three times a year and blood can be used to treat conditions such as blood loss from surgery, trauma, childbirth, blood disorders and cancer.

The NHS requires 7,000 units of donated blood a day. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Whole blood is rarely used today except in cases of severe blood loss. Instead it is separated down into its main components; red cells, white cells, plasma and platelets.

A donation takes around an hour and donors are encouraged to drink a pint of water prior to donating.

Before every session donors are required to complete a Donor Health Check (DHC) to check they are eligible. They can discuss the results with a nurse and their iron levels are measured to ensure they are not anemic. Find out more about the process here.


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