I give blood. In the UK, it’s not about getting paid for it (’cos you don’t), but because someone might need your blood. It might save the life of someone you love, or a complete stranger, who’s just as loved by their own family. You can read more about this on the National Health Service’s Blood & Transplant web site.
The thing is that this year, I’ve worried about how it would affect my training, and so I’ve put it off, aiming to make two donations between September and the end of next January. I’d figured that losing 15% of my red blood cells every three months probably wouldn’t be what I need just right now.
The trouble is, that I received a letter this week saying that I’m suitable for platelet donation. These are the blood components that aid clotting, and are especially beneficial for patients with leukemia, or hemophiliacs.
It seems that I’m suitable, as I have an above average platelet count. This is hardly surprising - my father’s blood clots so quickly that he can’t actually give blood at all - the flow to the little bag just dries up to a trickle and stops before he’s even a quarter done!
But as a platelet donor, you give blood TEN times a year.
The good news is that this is done with a blood cell separator, which returns all the red blood cells to your body. So I’d get to keep all the stuff I need for swimming, cycling, and running around like a lunatic!
I’m still a little uncertain though, so if you’ve any thoughts on this, please let me know. On the one hand, it may impede my training . . . on the other hand it just might save someone’s life. Sounds like an easy decision really, so I don’t know why I’m dithering.