The percentage of young people giving blood has dropped by 20%, which begs the question whether there will be a ‘generation gap’ in blood donation.
With only 14% of the under 30’s donating blood, we pale in comparison to those over 40, with two-thirds giving blood.
We understand the urgency to give blood when over 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients across England. The process saves lives, whilst acting as a lifeline in emergencies and for those who desperately need long-term treatments.
Perhaps it could be argued older generations aren’t as disillusioned as the young who follow that mantra that we will ‘all live forever’. It is true, that the majority of those who’ve dealt with their share more of tragedy are older because they have been around longer to bare witness to such tragedies. That isn’t to say we are totally excluded from this. You never know when you are someone linked to you will need a donation. That feeling of ‘it will never happen to me’ will rapidly be shattered on finding someone close to you in a lie threatening situation.
The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) highlights the importance of why we need to start giving blood today:
- Each year we need approximately 200,000 new donors, as some donors can no longer give blood.
- Most people between the ages of 17-65 are able to give blood.
- Around half our current donors are over 45. That’s why we need more young people (over the age of 17) to start giving blood, so we can make sure we have enough blood in the future.
NHSBT found the reason young people are not donating is because they are “too busy” to donate or are equally too frightened of the procedure. When you weigh this up against being able to save up to three adults lives or seven babies just through giving one unit of your blood there really is no comparison.
We would expect someone to donate in our moments of need, so then be the person that you would expect others to be for you.