Thursday, January 21, 2016

21 Pints of Blood and Counting

 Thursday 21-January-16

I have been giving blood every 8 weeks for the last 2 years. A couple of years ago I volunteered for the Interval Study for blood donations:
"Between June 2012 and June 2014, the INTERVAL study recruited about 25,000 men and about 25,000 women at NHS Blood and Transplant (NSHBT) blood donation centres across England (to see locations click here).

During the study participants are asked to give blood either at usual donation intervals or more frequently. Men donate every 12, 10 or 8 weeks and women every 16, 14 or 12 weeks.

At the end of the study period, we will compare the amount of blood donated and measures of well-being in people asked to give blood at standard intervals versus those asked to give blood more frequently."
Of course I would be randomly allocated to the 8 week group which means regular visits to the West End Donor Centre. However I was given a breather for a couple of donations because we went to malaria-risk Zimbabwe which meant a six month quarantine period.

Today was the last official donation for the study but I will, naturally, continue to donate although maybe not as frequently. They took an extra "after" blood sample to compare with the original "before" sample. There will also be a questionnaire on my general health and well-being.

I have been giving blood intermittently since 1976 (not a typo that is forty years). Part way through the study I received a congratulatory letter for making 10 donations. Clearly w-a-y out as I was at least in the high teens if not twenties so I got in touch.

The Blood Transfusion records people managed to track down some old Farnborough donations in a previous system but going back to the early days it was probably paper-based records. They had no record of donations whilst I was working at Oxfordshire County Council, Sainsburys, Anglian Water and BT. In the end we agreed a compromise figure of 18. I settled for that as I don't want to overstate my record.

Let's see how long until I get my next badge.

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