Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Supplying Britain's blood.

  • Videos
  • Online

Available online

Download options


Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, as long as it is not primarily intended for or directed to commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) terms and conditions

About this work


Film showing how donated blood is used in emergencies. Shows blood being donated and sorted at a blood centre.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1989.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (15.30 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by the Central Office of Information for Department of Health.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 Members of the public are interviewed on the street about whether they have ever considered donating blood. Most say no, and give various reasons why not. A man is brought into Accident and Emergency and given a blood transfusion as the narrator explains that blood is needed all the time all over the country. He lists different uses, including accidents, medical procedures, surgeries, treatment of cancer and burns and liver transplants. The narrator explains what blood is; the components are shown in an animation. The film then deals with people's objections to giving blood. The first is, 'I heard you get AIDS from giving blood'. The narrator explains this is not the case; a blood donation session is seen. The next reason is, 'I couldn't give up a whole afternoon'. However, giving blood takes only an hour. Then a factory that organises donation sessions for its staff is seen; a female employee gives blood for the first time. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:25:19 Length: 00:05:25:19
Segment 2 The factory worker goes back to work after giving blood saying that it was painless. The blood is taken to a regional centre for testing and processing, which is seen. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the components. The blood stores are seen as the narrator explains how long the different components are kept for. The blood tests are seen, testing for blood type, rhesus type, antibodies and infections. Next, a plasma donation session in Newcastle is seen and the benefits of plasma donations are explained. Time start: 00:05:25:19 Time end: 00:09:58:21 Length: 00:04:33:02
Segment 3 The narrator explains how the plasma donation machine works and one of the plasma donors explains why he does it. The plasma is seen being processed at a blood products lab in Elstree and the different proteins, antibodies and clotting substances explained. More doubting members of the public are seen saying that 'I don't think I'd qualify' and 'Why would I give it away when I've never needed it'. The narrator explains that any fit person between 18-60 may give blood and that anyone may need it at any time. A mother explains that her 5-year-old daughter was saved by 5 units of blood after a road accident. The film ends with many members of the public being interviewed about donating blood and they all agree to donate. End credits. Time start: 00:09:58:21 Time end: 00:15:35:02 Length: 00:05:36:06



  • English

Permanent link