Blood Donors - National Blood Transfusion Service , North London. Returned used equipment is thoroughly sterilised and washed. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

By Mark McConville

 

INCREDIBLE retro images have offered a glimpse inside a blood drive in London in the 1950s.

The stunning pictures show a doctor performing a prick test on a woman’s finger to test her blood and make sure she is in a fit state of health to donate, another woman gives blood while her son eats biscuits and a police officer receives a form for application for a special bronze badge after giving ten blood donations.

Blood Donors – Grove Lodge , Muswell Hill , London , England. Mrs Sims is a local organiser and is one of the first to give blood. 1951. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Other striking shots show bottles being steamed in the steam steriliser before they are used again for blood donation, nurses assembling apparatus for hospital use and using special wrappers for sterilising the sets and a nurse removing the needle from a donor’s arm as the bottle fills to the top with blood.

Blood Donors – Grove Lodge , Muswell Hill , London , England. A nurse carrying a crate full of empty bottles. 1951. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

The interesting photographs show the inner workings of a blood drive in North London in 1951 by the National Blood Transfusion Service.

The NHS’ lifesaving service is required 365 days a year and they need around 200,000 new donors every year to ensure they have the right mix of blood types.

Blood Donors – National Blood Transfusion Service , North London. ” Needle sharpening ” on the premises in bulk. 1951. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Every day 6,000 donations are needed to meet the needs of patients across England.

Blood is made up of a number of components, including red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Each of these can be used to treat many different conditions, such as anaemia, cancer, blood disorders, and those having surgery.

Blood Donors – National Blood Transfusion Service , North London. These nurses are assembling apparatus for hospital use and are using special wrappers for sterilising the sets . They assemble 15,000 ” taking ” sets a week. 1951. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

There are 24 fixed blood donation centres and 88 mobile blood collection teams running 23,000 blood collection sessions a year in communities across England.

For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com

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