Blood donors needed ahead of Christmas

 

Source: Salisbury Journal, December 2011

Great Britain's NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is appealing to blood donors to come forward in the run up to Christmas.

In particular the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) service is asking those with O Rh negative (O-) and B Rh negative (B-) blood types to donate.

Blood stocks traditionally dip as the festive season approaches, and with the probable onset of bad weather, NHSBT is working to boost stocks of these groups throughout December.

Jon Latham, assistant director of for marketing and donor contact service at NHSBT, said: "Blood donors from every blood group are needed every day.

“If more donors can spare the time to give blood in December this will give blood stocks a timely lift in the run up to Christmas and allow them to be maintained at a constant level as January approaches.

"We would like to reassure everyone that blood stocks are not low and patient care has not been affected in any way."

Donors with blood group O- are known as universal donors as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group. This can prove vital in an emergency situation when there may not be time for an immediate blood grouping test to be carried out.

About seven per cent of the population have this blood group.

Donors with the blood group B- are more often found in black and minority ethnic communities. Only two per cent of the population have this blood group and more donors are particularly needed.

To be potentially eligible to give blood you must be aged between 17 and 65, weigh over 7st 12lbs (50kg) and be in general good health.

There is no upper age limit for blood donation if you have donated in the last two years.

Footnotes: 

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) manages the national voluntary donation system for blood, tissues, organs and stem cells turning these precious donations into products that can be used safely to the benefit of the patient.  

To find out more about becoming a blood donor or to book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 1232323 or log in to blood.co.uk.