In the past we were involved in producing short community programmes for Scottish Television. Action 2000s were essentially thirty five second adverts for charitable organisations, broadcast at prime viewing time throughout the country.
One such Action 2000 was an appeal for blood donors. The blood transfusion organisation had approached a news presenter to front the television appeal, as was often the case. After filming every crew member was encouraged, if semi obliged, to stay on after the shoot to donate their own pint of blood to the cause. Most of the film crew were already registered and active blood donors and therefore more than happy to donate. Indeed they saw the opportunity as a bit of a bonus since it would save them a separate trip.
Our presenter, however, had never donated blood before. Not wanting to appear a wimp, nor really being in a position to refuse, she signed up there and then, even volunteering to go first. The rest of the crew were somewhat unsure whether she would be eligible to donate blood given the requirement to weigh at least eight stones – not a problem for anyone else on the shoot that day! Anyway, with the aid of the loose change in her pocket, she scraped through, was accepted to give blood and left the rest of the crew patiently waiting their turn.
The next thing we knew the nurse was being summoned to attend to a slight-built and light-headed television presenter who had found the whole process rather overwhelming and had passed out! Thankfully after the staple cup of tea and biscuit she was absolutely fine. And the remainder of the seasoned donors in our crew donated without any further incident.
Donating blood, whilst perhaps daunting for some first timers, is a truly simple and painless process. Who knows, after all, if or when we may be on the receiving end and owe our life to those who donate a little of their time and blood.
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