I realise I promised to write about my adventures in hospital and give you an insight into life as a student; however real life sometimes takes over. Included in real life: is beer, family, some work, and Jeremy Kyle. That show should be a licensed cure for depression; it certainly makes me feel better about myself.
I am not usually one to harp on and on about the virtues of charity- don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m just not particularly adept at it; generally I prefer laziness. However, it is customary for me at around this time of year to do a good deed, and the radio and TV adverts by the National Blood Service were coming so thick and fast that I felt I had to do something to help with the usual blood shortage over the festive period.
When you are working in a hospital, it’s very easy to forget that everything comes from somewhere. You have a patient with a severe GI bleed and they need blood transfusions to correct their subsequent severe anaemia. You go and get the red form for the doctor, filling out “4 units crossmatched,” take a blood sample and put it in the shoot and off it whizzes to pathology- sure enough, 4 bags of the good stuff turns up and your patient’s life is saved. Hurrah. But at no stage do you ever stop to think that it’s come from somewhere- it appears as some drug the same way as anti-biotics or analgesics do- in neatly formed packages. So in a post-prandial festive malaise, I made an appointment to give blood. I also convinced a good friend of mine to come along, lured principally, I fear, by the promise of Wagon Wheels.
We did wait for two hours, as there weren’t enough beds for the donors; but eventually we passed the screening questionnaire and went to the station. The needle doesn’t really hurt, it’s more of a discomfort- but I saw it more as a constant reminder of the good I was doing, similar to the way my girlfriend’s constant nagging reminds me of how I love her. Ok, bad example. Nevertheless, if you do have a phobia of needles, then I suggest perhaps finding another way to do good; the last thing they want is blood everywhere but the bag.
So with only 4% or so of the eligible population actually giving blood, and around 7000 units needed a day to maintain a working stock, it is vitally important that if you are able, you do. In fact, I am reliably informed that for those at Imperial, a session is taking place on 11th February in SAFB- or go to http://www.blood.co.uk
And if all else fails, just go to stock up on the snacks. I’ve never consumed so much orange squash and TUC biscuits in my entire life. Well, you’ve got to make it work for you, haven’t you?