Last Knockings for Tea after Transfusions –
Blood Donors Miss Out
There is that phrase that the listeners of Radio 4s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue will be familiar with but makes me a little bit annoyed when spoken by Barry Cryer: ”You’ll have had your tea?” The accusation of stinginess isn’t a good one, but I have to say when I had supper with Barry in 2016 I forgot to complain about it. The pianist on the show is an old family friend so we keep in touch and have meals and whatnot and I have to say that Barry was incredibly funny in person and even more entertaining off air, if that is possible. Sorry about not complaining. But now the hoary old joke has come somewhat true for blood donors in Scotland. That refreshing cuppa is no longer on offer to Scots who give blood. The NHS in Scotland is scrapping the practice of providing a hot drink to donors after collecting their blood, saying it will reduce its environmental footprint by cutting the use of polystyrene cups. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is one of the great services of the nation and the health service wouldn’t function without it, but steaming hot tea it seems can also increase the chance of first-time donors fainting. Only the old lags who donate more frequently were allowed the steamy refreshment.
How Did Dracula Take His Tea?
And if you read my blog post on glass milk bottles making a comeback you’ll know the nation is rising up against non-recyclable materials and plastics. Indeed the volunteers were querying the non-recyclable cups, mini milk pots and spoons used in the donation centres. So we are heading instead towards a wider variety of snacks to replace the tea and biscuits, and goodness gracious, a greater choice of gluten-free or vegan treats. Until two years ago I thought ‘vegan treat’ was an oxymoron, but a severe re-education programme from the missus has seen us go vegetarian if not vegan a few times a week now so even an eating Luddite like me can see the need for some graduated change. It doesn’t take away the pangs for terrible white bread, bacon and the delight of the sauce bottle, but I do enjoy some veggie treats. And if you want to be a donor, please do so, it will save lives. NHS Scotland tries to hold enough of all types of blood for six days, but is down to four days of AB negative, the rarest category. Scientific opinion is that taking 500ml of liquid before giving blood helps the possible fainters, rather than afterwards.
The Times They Are A Changing