If you'd be willing to receive blood then you should be willing to donate it. Stocks are depleting and if you, or any of your loved ones were in an accident and needed a transfusion of any kind but were told there 'wasn't enough to go around', you wouldn't like it. I stand by that every person able to donate should; deliberately avoiding it is selfish and juvenile.
It doesn't hurt, it doesn't make you feel 'ill', and most people 'assume' they can't give blood based on something they've read. Your blood is tested before and after donation so it's worth enquiring regardless of any preconceptions you may have.
Things that stop you giving blood:
If you have any kind of virus that can be passed on through blood
- If you think you might have a virus but aren't sure, a blood test will let you know & tell you whether you can donate.
If you have had any operation or treatment from a non-approved medical practitioner
- Even if your treatment wasn't done on the NHS, if the person that did it has been approved to practice medicine you'll be fine. Sometimes treatments such as acupuncture can stop you donating depending on where they were performed; just let the nurse know about any of the above before you donate and they'll be able to tell you whether or not you're eligible
If you are heavily pregnant or have ever received a blood transfusion
- Very early on in pregnancy you may be able to donate, ask the nurse
If you have been pierced or tattooed by a non-regulated body artist
- Again, talk to the nurse and any necessary investigation will be carried out to find out if you can give blood or not
I'm asthmatic, anaemic, underweight, on a lot of medication (including antibiotics), have low blood pressure and I can still donate so the chances are you can as well. The vast majority of people are able to donate, they just don't want to. Unless you have spoken directly to a nurse and they've told you that you're not eligible to donate, you probably are. Until you've been told otherwise by a medical professional there's no excuse not to try.
Click here for more information or look out for drop-in blood drive vans around your area.