Ganesh Sittampalam (hsenag) wrote,
Ganesh Sittampalam

How much are blood donors actually needed?

I've been trying to book an appointment to give blood, and it's proving hard enough that I'm thinking of just giving up. It seems to me that either the country already has comfortably enough blood donations relative to demand, or the the blood service is underfunded/badly run and unable to actually collect enough blood to supply the demand despite there being plenty of available donors.

Near my workplace is by far the most convenient way for me to give. No appointments available at all for 2 months, and no appointments I can actually make it to for 4-5 months.

Near my home, I'd have to work from home for a day or have a day off, plus it's a longer journey time to the donation location. One appointment in 3 weeks that I can't make, otherwise nothing for 6 weeks.

There's also a permanent donor centre I could perhaps visit on my way home (and get home late). Unfortunately it only advertises appointments 3 months or so out, and all of the late slots for that entire time period are taken.

Overall it seems to me that for any appointment I might plausibly book, if I don't do so then someone else will always take it instead. And plenty of people must be having a similar experience, which means that if the blood service wanted to increase donations, they just need to put on more donation sessions.

I could also just turn up without an appointment which would probably be ideal for the blood service, as if someone misses a booked appointment then they can fill the gap with me. But it could mean quite a big wait, so I'm not too keen on that.

If I had one of the blood types that they're proportionately more short of, I might make more effort, though I think they should then reserve more appointments for those types. I am also ethnically South Asian which they say they want, but it's not really clear why that would be important in itself.

If I do give up I'll see if the situation seems to have changed in a few years.
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