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News weekly update: Would you be a blood donor?

Give blood.

Do you have a spare 10 minutes today? Why not give the gift of life and give blood?

There are many myths surrounding blood donation that could be putting you off. For example, did you know that a full donation is 470ml, not 1L? Plus, a full donation only takes between five and 10 minutes to complete, as opposed to the hours and hours that you might expect.

This year's World Blood Donor Day, celebrated on 14th June, carried the theme "Blood connects us all" — but how many of these fast facts about donation did you know?

How many pints of blood are needed every day?

In order to treat patients in need across England, more than 6,000 blood donations are needed every day. This is why there's always a need for people to give blood.

While the majority of people between 17 and 65 years old are able to give blood, around half of current donors are over 45. To make sure there is enough blood in the future, there is a now a need for younger people to start donating.

How easy is it to donate?

Whether you're a new or existing blood donor, it is easy to book an appointment to give blood in England. Donors can create an online account that allows them to book appointments and find out where you can donate.

How to prepare to donate

You've decided to become a blood donor and have booked an appointment. Now what? Follow these tips to have a safe blood donation experience:

  • Eat regular meals to stop you feeling lightheaded.
  • Boost your wellbeing with a good night's sleep.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids 24 hours before donating, but avoid alcohol.
  • Wear comfortable and loose clothing while avoiding anything with tight sleeves.
  • It's normal to feel nervous. To help distract you from the nerves, bring a friend with you.
  • Or bring a book, a magazine or an MP3 player along to help you relax.
  • Save time by making sure you know your medical, body piercing and travel history.
  • You can still exercise before and after donating blood but don't do anything that is more strenuous than usual. You will also need to make sure you're fully recovered and well hydrated before you give blood.

Would you now consider giving blood?

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