Blood is essential for good health because the body depends on a steady supply of fuel and oxygen to reach its billions of cells. Blood also carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system; from there they are removed from the body. Without blood, we couldn't keep warm or cool off, we couldn't fight infections, and we couldn't get rid of our own waste products.
By giving blood you can literally save a life. If you are in good health and aged 17 to 66 you can probably give blood. The NHS holds blood donation sessions in Carterton, Witney and several other places in the area. You can book an appointment in advance and the process takes about an hour. Sessions usually run from afternoon to early evening to help donors find a time that suits them. On arrival you gave a pinprick test on a finger to make sure your iron level is OK. You will feel a sharp prick in your arm as the needle goes in and after that it is more or less painless.
You can get more information from the NHS via www.blood.co.uk where you can find dates and times for giving blood, or you can call 0300 123 23 23.
A journalist who recently returned to being a blood donor wrote as follows:
“Maybe this heartbeat will turn someone's lips from blue to pink again; bring back a mother or a father or a child. All the calmness and love in this room is being sent into some furious, terrified future in A&E that you will never know about, but you will be the magic that stops a life from being undone. Perhaps the life of someone you know. Perhaps your own. Perhaps you are not donating at all, but lending. As others once, maybe, lent to you.”