Embarassing Bodies demystifies blood donation process

7 May 2014

Popular Channel 4 programme, Embarrassing Bodies, featured Dr Pixie donating blood live on the programme on Tuesday 6 May.

The programme demystified the blood donation process, by explaining how a potential donor is screened prior to donating and showing Dr Pixie giving blood live on air.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Donor Services at NHS Blood and Transplant said: 'We’re really grateful to Channel 4 and Embarrassing Bodies for highlighting blood donation on the programme.

'Blood donors are at the heart of our ability to provide the blood hospitals and patients need. Each day we rely on more than 7,000 people attending one of our blood donation sessions across England and North Wales.

'It’s important that we are always attracting new people to donate. In fact, we need around 200,000 new donors each year to replace those people who can no longer donate due to ill health, pregnancy, foreign travel or other reasons.

'We know that not knowing what’s involved in blood donation does sometimes stop people becoming donors. So we hope the show has shown people how important it is, how easy it to do and has inspired them to sign up to donate.'

If you have been inspired to donate by watching Embarrassing Bodies, sign up to donate and make an appointment now. Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.


  • For additional information please contact Pauline O’Brien by calling 01923 367669
  • For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444

Notes to editors

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
  • Donors can search for sessions, change their contact details, book appointments and change/cancel their appointments in real time on www.blood.co.uk
  • There are apps available for Android and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for their nearest blood donation session.
  • NHSBT’s donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones.
  • NHSBT collects 1.8 million units of blood each year from over 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues.
  • NHSBT needs more than 7,000 people to attend a blood donation session every day to collect the amount of blood hospitals across England and North Wales need to treat patients.
  • Only four per cent of the eligible population are active blood donors.
  • A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint).
  • There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. A regular supply of blood is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days. 
  • Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations. Platelets can be donated every 2 weeks.