World Blood Donor Day

Blood donation is where blood is collected from a donor and then used to treat someone else. It is essential for life-saving and life-enhancing treatments.


How to donate

South, Mid and West Wales are run by the Welsh Blood Service. In North Wales, this falls under the National Blood Service. Both Services are reliant on voluntary donations from the general public. Donating blood is usually very quick, taking less than an hour.

Before donating, it is recommended to drink at least 500ml of water, and then 500ml afterwards.

During a blood donation, 470ml of your blood is collected (which is just under one pint). It is suggested that you rest for a short amount of time after donating to avoid feeling faint or dizzy. Refreshments will be offered to prevent this.

To find out more about how and where you can donate, visit:


Uses for the donated blood

The blood that is donated is predominately separated into its separate parts:

  • Red blood cells, used to treat types of anaemia
  • Platelets, used to treat issues with bone marrow, such as leukaemia
  • Plasma, used to treat abnormal clotting which has caused bleeding, such as liver disease


The need for more

Currently, only around 4% of the population donate regularly, therefore there is still a high need for blood donations.

Blood can only be stored for a certain amount of time before it is deemed ineffective. Red blood cells can only be stored for 35 days and platelets for 7 days.

There is a particular need for black and Asian people to donate blood as there are not enough donors currently to meet the demand for blood.

If you are between the ages of 17-66, weigh over 50kg and have good general health, you will likely be able to donate. If you are over 70, you will need to have donated blood within the last two years.


Blood types

Someone who is receiving a blood transfusion from a donor needs to match their blood type. If the blood does not match, their immune system may result in attacking the donated blood which can cause life-threatening complications.

These are the two main systems for categorising blood groups:

  • ABO blood group system
  • The Rh system


Someone who has a blood transfusion must receive blood from a donor with the same blood type, otherwise their immune system (the body's natural defence against infection) may attack the donated blood. This could lead to potentially life-threatening conditions.

There are two main systems for classifying blood groups. These are:

  • the ABO blood group system
  • the Rh system

Your blood group is determined by your ABO group and your RhD group.


To learn life-saving skills attending a First Aid course is what you need to do. We hold regular First Aid At Work courses in central Cardiff. We offer two levels of courses available depending on the level of risk in your workplace. Click these links to find out the dates of upcoming courses and to book places online:

Alternatively, many employers prefer First Aid training to be carried out at their own workplace so we can provide a quote for us to come to you. 

Here's how to get in touch and find out more information:


St David’s First Aid Training – keeping you safe and legal.