Asthma UK community forum

giving blood

i no this is completely off topic but with such a wide community of people here i though there's bound to be someone who knows.

after recent events in my life and witnessing an extremely close relative need blood very quickly , it sparked an interest in giving blood. after talking to my mum i found she has rhesus negativ blood but cant give blood herself. this has made me realise that potentially i could also have rhesus negative blood and made me think about giving blood. so i did a little research.

basically i was just wondering if there was anyone out there who gives or has given blood, who could explain wha t actually happens more personally

thankyou in advance x

14 Replies

lil tinx,

do have a go if you can, something I've done for many years and the process is quicker now than in the past with bookable appointments. Your first visit will take longer as you have more health questions, but you do need to have your asthma under good control at the time of donation.

a good online virtual session is here.



I used to give blood regularly before I became very ill. It's a pretty simple thing. First you get your iron levels tested, then you go into a room in which you lay on a bed and they insert a line into the bend in your arm. A large bag is placed on a trolley hooked up to a computer type thing that beeps if anything is out of the ordinary. Don't worry! Mine used to beep because my blood was coming out too fast but it was ok.

After they have taken your blood they then take you to a recovery room where you eat something and have a cup of tea to make sure you aren't going to faint.

It lasts about an hour and a half all in.



wss, wow hour and half, i'm in and out in under 30mins. used to be more like hour to hour and half, fastest was a trial they did few years back 20mins but that never got rolled out for some reason despite very positive feedback.


It might be because I am sometimes anaemic that I am in so long......... I was always borderline or low so they had to test again...wait....blah blah blah.... Also I always have a sarnie which I suppose takes it's time LOL


I only went once to give blood and they turned me down.... As I didn't even make it pass the questions. I'm sure it was cause I was on oral steriods My family still tease me. As I didn't even get the cup of tea


I'd really like to give blood, I'm so needle phobic but I'd do it as its such a good cause unfortunately due to the amount of medication I'm on for my asthma its unlikely I'd be able to. PS thanks Woody for the link, it was interesting. :)

simi x



Giving Blood is a wonderful gift to those in need and a relatively simple and quick procedure to donate.

I have given many pints of blood during my life and i am delighted to be able to donate and will continue to do so, as long as i am able.

It usually takes about 10- 15 minutes to actually give the blood and before that around 10 mins completing the forms and having the blood test to check for anaemia.

There are some folk who will not be able to give blood for various reasons on the day and its worth checking in advance if you are in that category.

I have asthma and anaphylaxis and have only been refused when i have been using oral steroids which is fine.

I think that everyone who can give, should and i fully support the National Blood Transfusion Service.

Thanks for raising this important issue.



I have given blood once and since then I have been refused on every visit. The last 6 visitis has been because of my asthma not being controlled which I understand. I just wish I could do more for people that need blood. I am terrible at remembering my blood all I can remember is I am negative. I am on the organ donor list for when I pass away I want any organs that can be used to be used to save someone else's life. I have been already been told my lungs and heart will not be able to be used but as long as my other organs are not showing signs of damage from the stress of asthma that is coursed to your body then they will be more than happy to use them.

I only know this because I did research and asked lots of questions about organ donating as I was very concerned about doing this with asthma.


I had my form for the next appointment come and phoned the NBS to check, apparently inhalers are not enough to restrict you donating, but you must have your asthma on the day under control, no symptoms on the day and not taking any tablets for asthma (things like pred but excluding leukotriene modifiers)


That is brilliant woody hope you can give blood on the day. I am no longer allowed to blood until my son is given the all clear for epilepsy as it means I could be a carrier of the gene and people with a family history of epilepsy for some reason are not allowed to give blood. My last appointment was refused because I was on preds and the appointment before that was becuase of symptoms and a bad flare up which is understandable we need to be as healthy as possible to be able to give blood which I truely agree on

Oh and forgot to say yesterday that if you are hard to get blood out of like I am they will only try and get the needle in 3 times if after the third try it fails then they give up. I will never forget my first appointment everfything started great then suddenly the bleeps started as the blood stopped flowing so they had to take that needle out and put another needle in another place and continue the donation and it happened again so they tried for the third and final time and we only just finished the donation as I stopped bleeding again. Very funny know when I think back to it but on the day was very frustrating


Asthma family, if you're unsure it's always easier to phone and check in advance, otherwise you have a wasted trip.

Getting the needle in the correct place seems to be largely down to who does it. I've had some who can get it just right first time and in just over 3 mins the bag is full, other times i've felt the needle not go in the correct place and move slightly thus taking longer. Not sure on the three attempts, I always thought they were not allowed to reposition the needle once the donation had started, but maybe each have their own interpretation but you have 15mins anyway after that they just take what they can get LOL!

Getting the bloods not a problem, it's the first sample for the iron test LOL, the number of times they attempt that before deciding on the little finger is laughable, skin like a rhino.


It's the pred that means you cant give blood as 1) it means asthma not controlled 2) pred could be masking other symptoms you're not aware of or obviously if taking short course for infection as you are then ill and so cant give blood. I'm on a cocktail incl theo and singulair etc and am fine to give in them. They are lovely and phone me every 9 months in hopeful anticipation I'm off pred and have forgotten to re-register - 4 yrs down the line and I still get the call!

If unsure, ring them and you can speak to a doctor rather than going down and sitting around only to be turned away.

Definately a worthwhile cause and as soon as I can Im going back to donating regularly.


sadly am not allowed to give blood though I did ask cardiology specialist and he was all for it. But the blood bank people said no. I had heart surgery as a child and that is their reason even though I told them the cardiology specialist okayed it. Since then they be more reluctant anyways having lost my spleen due to low platelet count etc and all sorts of other things.

The simple answer would be to ask them. Someone suggested ringing. But I personally think its better to turn up at the next session and explain your situation to whoever is dealing with newcomers. For like I, the phone call answers may be different to whomever is on duty answers.

good luck and I hope you get one step further than I ever did. I can remember my brother getting bronze I think it was for giving blood, hence me wanting to give - healthy competition you know. But I got stopped.

MY sister is Rhesis negative but I am not - so i assume that just because one member of the family is, doesn't make us all so, so it be worth your while getting it checked out. Something a friendly GP should be able to do if they don't actually do so at the blood donating session.

You will most likely be offered a free cup of tea if nothing else - I was.


thank you al for your replies

ive come to the conclusion it is something i definatley want to do. thankyou for the link was great help and interesting. as with you simi im a needle phobic but im more than willing to do it anyway( im getting much better with them now anyway - it was a case of having too lol!)

thankyou all again for all advice, im going to carry on looking into it and talk with parents before i action anything but found out the other day someone i know pretty well from college gives blood so got some info from her, also by talking to her once of my friends suggested she'd come with me so that would be great !

thanks x


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