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Call for blood donors as stocks drop

Blood donations have fallen by 11% during the last two weeks, sparking a call for more donors to come forward.

NHS Blood and Transplant are appealing to donors who are O Rh negative (O-) and B Rh negative (B-) in England and North Wales to come forward following the drop in donations across all blood groups from the same period last year.

The fall was even more steep on Sunday, as donations across all blood groups were 31% down on the same Sunday in 2012.

Jon Latham, assistant director for marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said stocks of blood for “vulnerable” blood groups are “lower than we would like them to be”.

“Summer finally arrived, temperatures and hopes rose during Wimbledon and blood donations fell.

“Stocks of blood for vulnerable blood groups - O Rh negative and B Rh negative - are lower than we would like them to be and I’m asking blood donors with those two groups in particular, to walk in and donate now.

“By doing so you can help us replenish vital stocks and ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of patients,” he said.

NHS Blood and Transplant is appealing to all donors with appointments to keep them, and those B- and O- donors who are eligible to donate to book an appointment or to walk into their nearest session to give blood.

Donors with blood group O- are typically known as the “universal donor” 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.

Approximately 7% of the population have this blood group.

Donors with the blood group B- are more often found in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

Only 2% of the population has this blood group and these donors are in particular needed due to an increase in usage.

First time donors should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health.

There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years. For more information or to book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk or contact 0300 123 23 23.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Nothing controversial about asking for more blood, you might think, but why are collections down so much on last year? Could it have anything to do with 100 collection staff being made redundant, the closure of several teams, the selling off of part of the blood service? One manager said he was not bothered by closing his team and making life harder for the donors. The management message is that less blood is needed, so redundancies are justified. Maybe that is not the message to send if there is a shortage of blood.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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