Giving Blood is all about generosity. Every day, patients in hospitals throughout Ireland require blood transfusions. Sometimes it may be for routine surgical procedure such as a hip operation. Other times it may be for someone recovering from a road traffic accident, major surgery such as a heart bypass or a patient undergoing cancer treatment.

Without the continued generosity of people right across the country, hospitals and medical services would not be able to provide the blood and blood products needed. They depend on us to maintain an adequate and safe blood supply to save and improve lives.

Donating blood is safe, quick, and easy, but fear of needles, feeling weak, or believing others are donating enough keep people away. Here are some facts to bear in mind which may make you more comfortable with the blood donation process.

How much blood do I lose? As an adult, you have 8 to 12 pints of blood in your body. When you give a unit (1 pint) of blood, your body will replenish the entire amount you’ve lost.

Will I experience weakness? A very small number of people feel weak right after donating, but this typically passes after a few minutes. Weakness can be avoided by coming to the donation centre with a full stomach and a good night’s rest.

How long does it take? The entire donation process only takes about 10 minutes and can be repeated every 90 days.

Remember, there is absolutely a blood shortage right now so it’s up to all of us to help. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service provides a continually updated chart, outlining the current levels of blood supply. On the day, this article went to post, O- and AB- supply were at only 3 days.

To find out more about the blood donation process and to find a blood donor clinic in your area, please visit the Irish Blood Transfusion Service website at