IBD and blood loss: How donating blood can save lives

If you have IBD or any chronic condition, you’ll know just how important it is to donate blood. Whether you’ve had an operation, suffered from severe blood loss blood or battled severe anaemia, transfusions are a lifeline for those of us with chronic illness. So today I wanted to share with you a new project I’m working on with Medical Travel Compared.

The site helps you find the best travel insurance-including pre-existing cover which  most of my readers and I need- by comparing a range of providers. I’ll be teaming up with them over the next few months  to talk about my health and today is all about the importance of blood for patients like me and how donating it can save lives.  The project ‘You and Your extraordinary blood’ is all about how powerful blood donation can be…

Why might people with IBD need blood transfusions?

There are many reasons those of with IBD might need blood transfusions, such as…

  • Severe anaemia where iron replacement isn’t effective.
  • Severe bleeding during a flare-up.
  • Severe bleeding after complications- such as a perforated bowel or a rupture.
  • Increased needs for blood following surgery.

I’m very lucky not to have needed a blood transfusion yet in my journey with IBD (although have had iron infusions in the past) but I asked some of my fellow IBD patients to share their experiences of blood loss and transfusions.

I couldn’t believe how common it was and how many of us needed blood transfusions in our lifetime! Here’s some (of the many)experiences my readers shared…




As you can see there’s no one reason for needing a blood transfusion and all aspects of the disease can put us at risk! Thankfully, everyone spoke really positively about their blood transfusion and how it made a massive difference to them!

Can people with IBD give blood?

One of the most frustrating things is that those who have IBD cannot give blood-even if in remission. It’s frustrating because we rely so much on blood donations that it’s so annoying that we cannot repay back the supplies ourselves!

Fun Facts about Your Blood

As part of-the You&Your Extraordinary Blood project, we’re raising awareness about how vital blood donation is. Medical Travel Compared have created a great resource to teach you all about you and your blood! Did you know…

  • We create 2 million new blood cells every second. Reassuring if you are worried about blood loss and IBD-but also reassuring for those who want to give blood; you have plenty of supplies! Our bodies quickly create more cells to make up for the deficit. So there’s no excuse!


  • The average healthy person could donate 3 pints of blood a year!


  • It’s probably taken you around 2 minutes to read this blog post. In that time, it’s estimated  425 pints of blood have been donated; with the potential to save 1300 lives.

I know many of my readers might not be able to give blood, but either way-do give the quiz a go and learn about your unique blood supplies! More importantly, encourage your loved ones to get involved, take the quiz and of course, donate blood of their own!

Since my diagnosis, my husband has always donated blood and the thing he loves the most is when you give blood, you’ll receive a text message explaining which hospital it’s gone to-meaning you’ll know that your efforts have gone directly to help those in need! 


This post is in collaboration with Medical Travel  Compared.

1 Comment

  1. October 9, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    My husband and I both used to give blood but just got out of the habit but this has given me the reminder to sign up again.

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