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People need to give more blood

  • 22-12-2021 10:08am
    Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ heretothere

    I was shocked last night to hear on the news we have to import blood from the UK!

    Only 3% of Irish people are blood donors. I know plenty out there will have very valid reasons for not giving blood but come on. I didn't give it this time they came to my town as I am pregnant and not allowed to right now but I always do when they come.

    Get off your arse and go give blood. It doesn't take long and it doesn't hurt. I don't like needles, not really sure anyone does, so just look the other way.

    Without a good enough blood supply operations will have to be cancelled. What if it's you or your loved one that suddenly needs a blood transfusion?

    Anyone else shocked by this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ MTU

    It’s because of covid that the donating has decreased.

  • Posts: 0 Otto Early Wimp

    I give it regularly but I think people are nervous due to Covid.

    I've given it throughout Covid as well, it couldn't be safer. They are obsessive with safety all the time anyway, so hopefully more people start giving. They are always looking for donations.

  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 2,826 ✭✭✭ Raichu

    I’m not allowed cos I’ve several conditions that disqualifies me. Blood nor platelets unfortunately.

    also who cares if we’re getting from England or not I imagine that’s not quite as unusual as you’d think.

  • 3% is suprisingly low....i know everyone do be busy etc and criteria are v.tight.....

    but its such small thing,costs nothing and could save someone elses life....i dislike needles and dispite being well over 20 donations have never once looked/seen the needle

    I think the blood board should do open drives at colleges/secondary schools etc as if ya get people when younger,better chance to keep em at it and into the habit

  • Registered Users Posts: 269 ✭✭ enrique66_35

    I was a regular donor before Covid (30+ donations). The last two times the clinic was within a 20 minute drive of me (I live in the middle of nowhere!) I called the number to make an appointment a couple of times and was told all the operators were busy and to leave a voicemail. I did the first time and nobody called me back.

    I would like to return to regular donations and understand Covid makes the old model of queuing unsafe but I also don't have the time to keep calling until I get someone on the phone and make an appointment. An online booking system is sorely needed and I don't think berating people for not donating when it is not as straightforward as it used to be is likely to get the desired response.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ heretothere

    I'd imagine covid had a bit of a role in it, but donor % was always low. If anything covid has (imo) made giving blood way easier, I've give a few times since covid. You get an appointment so you are in and out in about 30min, before you had to just turn up and could be waiting ages!

    Raichu - of course lots of people (inc me right now) cannot give blood and that is completely understandable. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with English blood, it's just worrying that we need to import it. What would happen though if we had a shortage and the NHS wasn't in a position to give us blood? Operations would need to be cancelled to save blood for accidents/ emergencies. If we could bring the % who donate up then we wouldn't have this problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ HerrKapitan

    I would love to give blood, but I'm not vaccinated so can not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ MTU

  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 2,826 ✭✭✭ Raichu

    Why shouldn’t it be? If you can’t go to a cafe and eat or drink inside without a vaccine why would it be okay to give blood..

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ MTU

    I would be very grateful to receive blood from an unvaccinated person if I ever needed blood.

    You need to come down off your high horse there.

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  • I think that having to ring and make an appointment is putting some people off, as well as the Covid situation. I gave in Minella Hotel in Clonmel twice during Covid and will admit that I was a bit apprehensive at first, but they really do go all out with the sanitising and distancing. I always feel good afterwards. You never know when you or a family member might need a strangers generosity.

  • I wonder how has the UK has surplus blood and we don’t have enough. Are they more civic minded or do they have better campaigns or advertising for blood donations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,504 ✭✭✭ wench

    No it isn't.

    They defer you for a few days after you receive the vaccine, but that's it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,141 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    They've stopped doing regular clinics locally, I'm not going to drive an hour over and back to the city just to donate.

  • They definitely did drives when I was in college about 6 years ago. Probably changed with COVID though.

    I've had a blood transfusion so I'm banned, plus I have health issues so can't see self ever being unbanned. I did used to donate so fact I've received blood feels like I've had a net contribution.

    Weirdly donating was one of the first things I did when I turned 18. Parents should definitely be encouraging their kids to go to generate that habit from a young age.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,456 ✭✭✭ Wildly Boaring

    I can't donate.

    Gave platelets every few weeks. Was up to about 75 donations.

    Had a small difference in my pulse. Went to doctor for ECG, all good. Letter from doctor to say same.

    Off the register for ever........

    My wife tried to give blood 3 times since covid.

    No local clinics. D'olier street only. Appointment only.

    Gave up after 30mins on the phone the 1st time. Appointment cancelled the second and third time.

    She has given up.

    The staff on the ground are top class.

    Above that a disorganised rabble....

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭ Melanchthon

    Because having been turned away years back for this myself, you can't give blood in Ireland if you lived in Britain or Northern Ireland for the period that BSE/CJD was around (not like cattle didnt cross the border counties all the time !).

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,797 ✭✭✭ Hurrache

    Leave a message and they will get back to you, you obviously have to leave your number (I forgot once as I was an autopilot thinking they'd see the missed call anyway) and someone will eventually pick up the message.

    There was previously a 7 day wait between getting a vaccine/booster but they've reduced that to 3 now.

    And appointments are so much more convenient than turning up and waiting, particularly in the busier clinics, but I'm sure it'll have a bit of an impact on the impromptu visits that a lot of people done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,459 ✭✭✭✭ Thelonious Monk

    My partner was saying the other day you can't give blood if you've done cocaine in the last year, is this true?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,625 ✭✭✭ rogue-entity

    Used to donate regularly, but I used to travel regularly to the US and other places, and every time I'd get a call when they were running a drive I was told I couldn't donate so I gave up.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ heretothere

    You can now. It changed in around 2019.

    For people having trouble booking an appointment I found the number in the text was often busy but their main phone line 1800 731 137 will get you through.

    Not sure about local clinics where you live but might be worth checking to see if they are open again. We had to go to a bigger town about 25mins drive away where it was in a huge secondary school. Our local one, about 10mins away is in a national school and is open again.

    I like getting the text to say where your blood has been used as well.

    I agree with people saying parents need to encourage their kids to do it. It will be a long time before I can do that seeing as I am only a few months pregnant!

  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ HerrKapitan

    Well yes. The staff taking the blood would be put at risk.

    It would be great if these clinics have enough staff to stay open during the coming surge so unvaccinated shouldn't turn up to give blood.

    We are unsafe to drink at a table beside us, so taking our blood is that degree more unsafe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ HerrKapitan

    Point the finger with one hand and take with the other. That is the Irish way lately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ MTU

    Apologies didn’t realise I had your post attached.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,931 ✭✭✭ Ger Roe

    I used to be a regular donor and I got a text to call in whenever the mobile clinic was in my area. I was up at 60+ donations when I developed a health condition myself that struck me off the list. My family had a long standing tradition of donation, one of my earliest memories is of my dad and several other neighbours cramming in to a car to drive to a donation center when the bombs went off in Dublin in 1974. I got involved in my 20's when a colleague developed lukemia and she encouraged all of us to donate blood, having become acutely aware of how important it was to have good stock levels.

    The truth is that there are a lot of terms and conditions that disqualify people ..... all designed to keep patients safe, but it does limit the potential donor pot considerably. I would say to anyone that if you are cleared to donate, you are in a very privileged position where you can regularly save lives simply by turning up and relaxing for an hour.

    If they can take it from you, please go and give it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,664 ✭✭✭ skimpydoo

    I used to live in the UK from mid 80's to mid 90's and because of BSE I was not allowed to give blood in Ireland. The moment they changed the regulations so that I could give blood, I was undergoing treatment for a blood cancer and I still can't give blood.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,919 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Ten of Swords

    Legislation is needed so the IBTS can further reduce the restrictions on MSM (men who have sex with men) donating blood to bring them in line with much of Europe.

    Current rules mean MSM can only donate if 12 months have passed since their last sexual contact with a man. A year with no sex? Unsurprisingly this makes nearly all gay men ineligible.

    The UK, where we now buy our blood from, changed their donating rules in June of this year to allow MSM donations with no deferral period if you've had the same partner (or only 1 partner) over the previous 3 months, otherwise its a 3 month wait if you have had more than 1 partner in the previous 3 months.

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  • Saw them on the news this week and said I'll roll up my sleeve again, I've 18 or 19 donations I think over the years. Checked the website, nearest clinics are 40-50 km away and close at 15:30. I'll be working albeit from home over Christmas but can't be away for that length of time. They are not making it easy for people even with Covid which I can understand but I've always been able to attend evening clinics in the past and a lot more locally.

    I've fond memories of going with my dad on the bar of his bike when I was a kid and getting fanta and biscuits, a pencil and a car sticker I thought was amusing as we'd nowhere to stick it in them days.

    I'll try and sort something out for work cover for a few hours on the 28th or 29th and try and get an appointment. DO they still give a lapel pin for 20 donations????? I've no use one but I still want one 😁