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On a positive note.

If you are looking for something to do then give blood.

Giving blood is classed as essential so you can travel more than 5km to give your blood or plasma.

Yesterday I gave my 196th donation of whole blood or plasma. I have been giving blood since I was 18. Giving blood now is very different to 1977 when I first started. I have seen a lot of changes and now you have a lot of yummy treats to look forward to when you give.

I gave 89 donations of whole blood until about 10 years ago I was asked to give plasma instead of whole blood.

The reason I was asked to give plasma instead of whole blood was a few reasons.

1. I could give more often. You can only give a donation every 3 months with whole blood but with plasma you can give every 2 weeks. I do not give this often, I now give plasma every 4-5 weeks.

2. My blood group is a rare one, there are only 2% of people in Australia who are AB+. When I give my whole blood AB+, it can only be received by other AB+ people. When I give my plasma it can be received by all people. My plasma is compatible with everyone.

3. The other advantage for giving plasma is that it does not affect your iron/haemoglobin levels. The reason for this is because the machine they use is really amazing. It takes your whole blood with your red cells and then separates the plasma and returns your red cells/iron back through the same vein to your body.

Here are a few great things that our donation is used for.

One third of blood donations help treat people with cancer. Blood is surprisingly versatile. The blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments.

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