Blood donors and the irreplaceable service they all help

PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:47 01 June 2010

I FELT compelled to reply to Janet Davies condemnation of the Blood Donor Service. Firstly, regarding the length of time donating can take. The donation service, acknowledging its donors views on this, introduced a system allowing people donating to boo

I FELT compelled to reply to Janet Davies' condemnation of the Blood Donor Service.

Firstly, regarding the length of time donating can take. The donation service, acknowledging its donors' views on this, introduced a system allowing people donating to book appointment slots. However, Ms Davies would probably be unaware of this as she states she no longer donates.

Secondly, Ms Davies states there is never a shortage of donors. May I remind her that, on average, only about five per cent of the population actually donates? During busy periods, Christmas and holiday times for example, donations tend to fall. Of course she has witnessed lots of people turning up to donate at sessions, as that is what the session is being held for.

Shortages are genuine. You may only donate three times a year and blood has a limited shelf life. Every day operations take place, road traffic accidents occur and childbirth complications happen. Not to mention the constant need of haemophiliacs and those with cancer. The list goes on.

Once, during my nursing career, a young girl suffered serious injuries when the motorcycle on which she was a pillion passenger, was in collision with a lorry. Thanks to the selfless people who donate blood, she was saved and transfused with 13 bags of blood, more than twice her body capacity. It also took 13 people to save this girl's life.

Thirdly, the service has to pay to hold sessions in any town and it does so at no cost to the donor or recipient and with only limited available funds. An all-day session would cost a great deal of money to implement. Sessions offered are generally three-hour slots both in the afternoon and evening of the same day.

Those who are sick and injured depend on the selfless donation of others to save their lives. Those who consider Ms Davies has a valid point should also consider that they too might need a blood donor to enable their life to be saved one day. That day they will be grateful that many people have given their blood freely in order to save the lives of others.

If you wish to view the current bloodstocks held in this country, go on line to www.blood.co.uk and click on 'Current Blood Stocks'. While there, why not have a look at all the fantastic facts regarding blood and read how lives are saved?

CAROL HAWKINS

Sefton Avcenue

Wisbech

I HAVE to say that after reading last week's letter from Janet Davies I was quite dismayed.

I am a regular blood donor and being O-Neg I also understand the importance of my blood (and I am not dismissing any other types of blood as they are all important). But to stop going after having to wait a while longer than she thought she was supposed to I find rather silly.

I talked my oldest son into donating blood and I talked my daughter (even though she is petrified of needles) into giving blood. We now do it as a family and as soon as my youngest son turns 17 in a couple of months he will be giving blood too.

You can donate only three times a year. This is so your vein has time to recover. There are a lot of other procedures to follow, so they are keeping your health a priority, too.

From 1979 until 1985 I lived in the USA, where, not only were you allowed to give blood twice a week, you got paid for it. So I would gladly give more blood a year even if I had to wait a little while, while they get to me.

To the nurses and helpers who take the blood, keep up the good work, and to the donors who give their blood,well done.

Not once have I seen anyone leave. Everyone there talks to each other, has a laugh, and just maybe we will be able to save someone's life.

ALAN KOBASKO

Garden Lane

Wisbech st. Mary

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