Donate a pint – save a life

December 10, 2008

Donate a pint – save a life

December 06 2008

By Andile Ndlovu

After the warnings about blood shortages at this time of year I put on my halo and gave 10 minutes – and one pint of blood – towards saving a life.

The first thing one does when donating blood is read the donor guidelines and requirements, get weighed, fill out an “honesty” questionnaire (donors answer questions about their sexual behaviour), and sit down for a counselling session.

One needs to be over 50kg, lead a sexually safe lifestyle, and be between 16 and 65 years of age to donate blood.

I sat down for a blood pressure and iron level check, which was deemed “satisfactory” by the sister in charge, Pregashnie Moodley.

Then I was moved on to what they called a “phlebotomist”, who is basically the attendant who draws your blood.

Ten minutes or so later, I had filled up my pint, sipped my juice and was ready to get back to work.

Many people think donating blood is a drawn-out process that is painful or even “disgusting” to some people. It’s not.

I’ve just given somebody a Christmas gift, and I don’t even know who it is, but it sure feels good.

o This article was originally published on page 16 of The Independent on Saturday on December 06, 2008

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