Every week patients in Scotland are in desperate need of blood or platelets – and a team of unsung heroes help save their lives.
Blood donors pop into mobile sessions around the country to give a little of their time to keep the 5,000 units needed every week in Scotland topped up.
A desperate and urgent need for blood can happen without warning – after an accident or operation – or people can have conditions which mean they need a regular supply.
Even unborn babies can receive life saving transfusions while still in the womb.
Former blood donor Milngavie and Bearsden Herald reporter Julian Hearne, whose life was saved by a blood transfusion after an accident, knows just how life can change in an instant.
He said: ‘‘I used to give blood because I felt it was important because you never know when you might need it in return.
‘‘When I went climbing near Haddington one day I never knew I would end up in hospital, far less needing more units of blood than I had ever donated before.
“I am so grateful to the donors who helped keep the blood bank topped up and on standby for when I needed it and I would urge everyone who is able to donate blood regularly.’’
Giving blood is simple and painless and takes very little time. Within 24 hours of making your donation that blood has been processed, tested and is available for patient care.
The next local donation events are in Kirkintilloch on March 2 at the Miners Welfare, Townhead, in Lenzie in the Union Parish Church on Kirkintilloch Road on January 29, and in the Town Hall, Milngavie, on March 26. For full times see www.scotblood.co.uk