Monday, 25 October 2010

Three strikes and I'm out

This drop of blood looks happy, I couldn't find a sad one, for me today it was thumbs down as they once again said they could not take my blood. Despite my best efforts to eat the right food, the test to check my haemoglobin level showed that it was too low to donate. This indicates that my iron stores are low. They set a fairly high 'cut off' level because they want to be sure that the haemoglobin will not drop below normal after a donation. In fact the nurse told me that they have recently raised the safe level, and that my two previous visits would have resulted in me being able to donate, if they hadn't changed the criteria.
There are a lot of people who have lowish levels, the nurse herself can't donate because hers are just below, like mine. We had a little chat about it and I discovered that she is a very keen walker like myself. She said it is likely that because my fitness levels are quite high, my body uses all the iron as I produce it. She said a lot of athletes cannot donate blood for this reason. This news made me feel a bit better.
The fact that I dont eat meat has no bearing whatsoever on the state of my health, I am very healthy and eat all the right foods. Looking through the leaflet they have given me I can tick off all the items except meat and tofu, I hate tofu it's horrible, but all the rest I already eat.
Anyway, it's three strikes and I am out, it is NHS policy not to call me back. I am a little bit sad about this, as I like to do my bit. I have been 36 times in about twelve years.
Can I make an appeal for someone to take my place. If you have thought about becoming a blood donor and you haven't got round to it, please give it some more serious thought, and find it in your heart to go and make that first donation. I know some people cant donate for various reasons, I know you would if you could. You can find out where the sessions are held by going to
Many thanks.


  1. I tried to give blood a couple of weeks ago. I filled in all the forms but when I saw the doctor and he asked me questions about how long I had been in France etc, he said that I could not give blood because I had been in the UK up to 1996 they could not accept my blood due to the mad cow disease. So that's it, I can't give blood here, just in the UK

  2. I'm not allowed because I don't weigh enough! I'm not a dieter - I've never dieted in my life and I eat a lot, I am just naturally very thin and so I'd probably have to binge on junk food every day to gain enough weight to do it! My boyfriend gives blood it the wagon comes round to his workplace, which isn't often but it's better than nothing.

  3. Sorry, Hubby & I have M.E. we are not allowed to (but it's not cos it's viral apparently)

  4. I've tried twice many years ago but I didn't weigh enough. I think I would be able to donate now though. I will look into this as I would like to be a blood donor.

  5. Maybe you don't eat enough. you must use a lot of calories on your hikes. My friend cannot give blood for the same reason, she doesn't eat more than a 1000 calories per day.

  6. I can and we do, we'll be called again soon, this'll be our tenth year

  7. Sorry to hear you couldn't donate Ilona but hopefully someone will carry the baton for you:) Linda xx

  8. It really is getting very easy to be unsuitable to donate blood.
    Thirty years ago, pretty much the only reason for not being a donor was being too frightened of needles. Nowadays you can't really cajole people into donating, in case they don't want to reveal some personal, medical condition.

    Last time I went, I was still declared "fit to bleed". (I feel disproportionately proud of this)