NURSES have teamed up with Rugby Union legends to urge men to give blood donation a try.
A survey of men in the West Midlands found that fear of needles is the primary reason for them not donating blood
More than one in five Solihull men admitted to being too afraid of needles to donate.
Now Rugby Union greats Ugo Monye and Lawrence Dallaglio have lent their weight to a campaign by NHS Blood and Transplant to get 25,000 new male donors over the next five months.
Reasons given by men in the West Midlands for not donating blood included being afraid of fainting during the process, and over one fifth claim they would be more afraid of donating blood than getting a sporting injury.
The Core Theatre in Solihull hosts regular Blood Donations. The actual donation itself usually takes around 5-10 minutes; not even the full quota of half time in a rugby game.
The whole process, from arriving for your appointment to tea and biscuits, takes under an hour.
Ugo Monye, sports pundit and former England and Harlequins player, said: “Currently around two thirds of all new donors are women. We need to encourage more men to come forward to donate. Their donations can be used to make life-saving products from their plasma and platelets, used to save victims of burns, car crashes and treat to patients with cancer.
“If you think of how many hours a week we spend watching sport, some of this time could be put to even better use – you could register to become a blood donor and make a difference.”
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We need nearly 400 new, first time blood donors every day and we particularly need more men to donate blood. Men’s blood can more easily be used to stop bleeding from surgery or injuries.
“We want to assure those who are wary of the process that it’s quick and the needle just feels like a ‘sharp scratch’. If you eat and drink before you donate, you don’t need to worry about fainting. Plus, there are always expert nurses on hand to make you feel comfortable.
“If you are aged 17 or over, please visit www.blood.co.uk to register to donate and make an appointment to donate and help us save lives.”