Living donations: who can give, what, how and where?

In Ireland, you can donate blood, kidney, bone marrow, platelets, breastmilk and hair

Donating blood: One in four of us will need a blood donation at some stage in our lifetime, yet only about 3 per cent of those who can donate blood do so. Photograph: Istock

Donating blood: One in four of us will need a blood donation at some stage in our lifetime, yet only about 3 per cent of those who can donate blood do so. Photograph: Istock

You are surely familiar with the idea of donating blood, whether you have done so or not. Living kidney donations are also becoming more popular – with the possibility that people might be able to donate a kidney to someone they don’t know. It is possible to donate bone marrow or platelets in St James Hospital, Dublin for people with blood cancers and other blood disorders.

Did you know that you can donate your hair to a charity that makes wigs for people undergoing cancer treatment? Lactating women can also donate breast milk for premature or sick babies. And, anyone having a full hip replacement can donate bone that they no longer need to strengthen or replace bone in another person during surgery for a bone tumour, bone fracture or spinal conditions.

The Irish Times
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