Saturday 14th of June is World Blood Donor Day, which this year has a focus on safe blood for saving mothers. Even in these modern times, childbirth can still be an extremely dangerous time for women, particularly in the Third World. Every day, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. This can be severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth, and I speak from my own experience when I say that what should be the happiest moment of your life can very quickly become a living nightmare.
My son Joe was born by caesarian section at 33 weeks. The operation seemed routine and I was fine in the immediate aftermath. But an hour after the birth I haemorraghed, not once, but four times, losing an enormous amount of blood and ending up in intensive care. A blood transfusion saved my life, meaning that I am still around to enjoy life with my wonderful son and husband. But many women are not as lucky as I was, and that is why the World Health Organisation has deemed June 14th as World Blood Donor Day, with a focus on mothers.
Why Give Blood?
Giving blood is an important service that we can do for one another, but unfortunately many people never consider it to be something they would do. This can be down to many reasons, fear of injections, scared of the pain, on religious grounds, not having the time to do it – the list is literally endless. The frightening fact is that while 25% of us will need blood in our lifetime, only 4% of the UK population actually give blood. Beneden Health has been conducting its own blood donation survey to try to establish the reasons people don’t give blood, and also to help understand the common preconceptions that people have about giving blood. (You can take the survey and read some of its findings here.)
The good news is that giving blood is easy, there are blood donation centres all over the UK. Click on the map below to find your nearest centre.
Of course, not everyone can give blood – after having a transfusion I am now myself sadly exempt. But the fact remains that most people can help to save lives, with each single donation helping as many as three people, many of them new mother’s. So make sure you add World Blood Donor Day to your diary for this weekend, and help to save lives.
Post in collaboration with Benenden Health to support Blood Donor Day.