Four months or so have passed since I last gave blood. I have kept going through the pandemic even though there is some element of risk mixing with people and medical staff. Hopefully the outcome outweighs the very small risk to me. The staff certainly work hard to keep us as safe as possible.
As I have often written, I am fascinated by the process of giving blood and how it has transformed over the years. Up until COVID-19 it was a battle for efficiency, with tiny marginal gains that would contribute to generating overall savings in the service.
Since the virus the focus has been on safety while still trying to retain the efficiency gains. I have given blood three times now through the time of COVID-19 and the operation has been very efficient. Numbers of donors have been reduced and there is a much more personal feel to the service you receive, with the same nurse managing you throughout the process.
This time though, the drinks and biscuits were brought to me while I was still in the donation chair. Gone is sitting at a communinal desk. My youngest daughter tells me that they still have the old system in Manchester. It’s a postcode lottery. I tell her that I still miss the cheese Tucs.
I understand that it is not just the giving that is important but rather that you are there to give. They need a reservoir of people to call upon should things get bad. A friend of mine told me that they want young men’s blood most. I never pressed her why but she should know as she worked in the transfusion service.
I must ask the next time I donate but they’ll probably tell me that my blood is just as important, even though I’m not a young man anymore.