Health blogs and stories

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Patients are at the heart of everything we do. We are actively encouraging local people, as well as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, to share their health stories to help inform, encourage and inspire others. 

If you would like to tell your story about healthcare, or a health condition, please email us at bsol.comms@nhs.net or call 0121 203 3341. 

My blood donation story: an update

Josh, a local resident and NHS employee, has provided an update following his original blog about giving blood.

I’ve given blood twice more since I first did it in June 2019. Each time it was just as simple: register online, turn up, fill in the health form, needle in, needle out, squash and snacks. The best part always came a week or two later, when I got a text to let me know where my donation is being used. So far, my blood has been used to help people in Sussex, Plymouth and Dorset. Looks like I’m popular on the south coast!

Obviously, every donation is important, but I recently found out that it is even more important for men to donate. Because men can give more often, male donors are vital to keep up blood supplies. I even found out that only men’s blood is used in complete blood transfusions for newborn babies. However, only 43% of donors in England are men.

So I’m asking for a favour. All donations matter, but I’m talking to you guys in particular!

I know it’s a busy time of year, that it’s cold and dark, that needles are scary. But take the time anyway. I know I’ll be going to my next appointment. In return, you’ll get free snacks! But more than that, you’ll know that you could be saving a baby’s life. And what could be better than that?

June 2019

Back in June 2019, Josh shared his experience of giving blood for the first time. You can read his original blog below.

I’d always meant to give blood. It was just one of those things that I never got round to, like sorting out the boot of my car. But this time, I decided I was going to stop putting it off, and just get it done.Josh blog 2

It started very easily. I went on to the NHS Blood and Transplant website, answered a few basic health questions, picked a time and location and my appointment was all booked. Over the next few days, I received a couple of texts to make sure that I had plenty to eat and drink on the day, and on the morning of the appointment, I received my reminder.

I went along to my session, and met with some of the amazing staff. After getting a glass of squash and filling out a quick health form, a nurse sat down with me and went through my form with me, checking I was happy with everything and asking if I felt nervous. I told her that I was a little bit, and she said that there was nothing at all to worry about. Turns out she was right.

Once I had got the all clear, we went out to the chairs where they would take the donation. A quick alcohol swab and a small scratch, and the needle was in. I barely even noticed it. The nurse checked that everything was working, and then left me to it.

I hardly had time to think about it before I was done. The nurse came over to tell me I was finished, and before I knew it, the needle was out, the bandage was on and I was having another glass of squash and a free biscuit.

For me, giving blood for the first time was the simplest thing in the world, but even if it wasn’t, I would still go back. A few days after my appointment I received a text, telling me that my donation is ready to help a patient. Yes needles are scary, and yes it’s not always convenient to go, but all I can think now is that for half an hour of my time someone might live. And that is one of the best feelings in the world.

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