The Blood Race Operation Ouch!


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The Blood Race

Clips from Operation Ouch! Dr Xand gives blood and follows it through the factory and out to a patient in need.


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-Are you ready for our Ouch! Snips?

-Snip-snip!

-Ouch!

-Exactly!

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Is it enough blood to fill approximately...

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That's around 23,000 litres of blood.

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SIREN WAILS

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Blood - if you're sick and you need it, nothing else will do.

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The tricky bit is there's only one way of getting hold of blood -

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taking it out of people. People like me.

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Around 4,000 litres of blood are used

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in hospitals all over England every day.

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It's vital for life-saving treatments

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and that's why donations are so important.

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I'm just about to insert a needle into your arm, Xand.

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Yep, so that's in. And, actually, it really didn't hurt at all.

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You feel a bit of a scratch and it's not a very nice idea,

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but Linda's a real expert, so it's completely fine.

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You're doing really well there. It's all up and going.

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There it is, filling up.

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Your body is actually a blood factory.

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It's constantly making new blood.

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But it makes it in a place you might not expect -

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in the middle of your bones.

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Our bodies can produce two million red blood cells every second.

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That's incredible!

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I'm donating about half a litre of blood,

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the equivalent of almost two cans of fizzy drink.

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That's around 13% of the blood circulating around my body.

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That's me done, and it only took five minutes.

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That's going to come out now, OK? Well done.

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Just keep pressure on there for us. OK, that's lovely.

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-Thank you very much.

-It's been a pleasure.

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This is a bag of my blood, and sometime in the next 35 days,

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it's going to be put inside someone else, possibly saving their life.

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But it can't go straight into them.

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First, it's got to go to the blood factory.

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This is the largest blood factory in the world, and we're going in.

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I've never seen anything like this.

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Behind me are 800 bags of live human blood. Whaa!

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3,000 bags of blood arrive in this factory every day.

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But before it's sent to the hospitals, the donated blood

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is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.

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Once it's separated out, the blood is tested

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to make sure it's not carrying any infections or diseases,

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and also sorted into the different blood types.

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These are the final products of this massive blood factory -

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thousands of bags of living human blood, including mine,

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all going out to save lives.

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And when this blood is needed urgently in an emergency,

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hospitals need a fast and reliable delivery service.

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This is Peter Woodsford.

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He's a safety officer by day

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and is a volunteer in a motorbike blood-delivery service by night.

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And this evening, he's letting me and you come along for the ride.

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This does involve some waiting around,

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but when a call comes in, it's time to swing into action.

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-Peter Woodsford.

-So we're heading off.

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I've got my camera with me and you're coming, too.

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Blood needs to go from the blood bank at King's Hospital in London

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to Kent and Canterbury Hospital 60 miles away,

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where it's needed as quickly as possible.

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So the volunteer drivers have set up a relay system,

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with us doing the last leg.

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We're now driving to the meeting point,

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where we'll pick up the blood. So far, so good.

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I can see why Peter chose this, it's really good.

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It's very important, life-saving work, but it is good fun.

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Here we go, and the blood has arrived.

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Part of this delivery is needed urgently

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for a patient who has become anaemic.

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They need the blood to boost their red blood cells

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so they can take more oxygen around their body.

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So stage two of the journey begins.

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We have to get to the hospital

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to help the patient as soon as possible.

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All through the night, up and down the country,

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other volunteer bikers like Pete are doing the same thing

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and helping people in desperate need.

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The finish line is in sight.

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Time to drop this blood off at the hospital.

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It's been a hectic night, but we got the blood here on time.

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What a privilege it's been to take part in what is literally

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the lifeblood of the health care system.

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What's amazing about this is I've given people blood as a doctor

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and I'd absolutely no idea of the journey it has to go on.

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The amount of people like Pete who give up their time and energy

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to do this thing, which is so important in saving lives.

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It's a really amazing job.

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Thanks, Pete.

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-See you next time!

-Bye!

-Bye!

-Bye!

-Bye!

-Bye!

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By-y-y-y-y-ye!

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THEY MOUTH "BYE"

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