NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has launched an appeal for donors to help boost stocks to 30% above usual levels1 by the start of the Olympic Games in July.
The increase is needed because of the unusually high number of public events in the UK this summer, including the Olympic Games. Past experience2 shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations as routines are disrupted. This, combined with the high numbers of international visitors with a different native blood mix to our own may also put high demand on specific blood groups.
The higher than usual number of public holidays and sporting events and the Jubilee celebrations makes forward planning essential to ensure anticipated demand can be met.
This year we have a unique situation and need the public’s help to counterbalance the inevitable dip in donations as people celebrate a memorable summer for the country. We need to adjust the mix of stocks so we are well prepared as a responsible host for these exciting events.
Donors of all blood groups are needed to help build stock but there are particularly high targets3 for the following blood groups to help build and adjust the blood mix:
O+ (52% increase)
O‐ (43% increase)
B‐ (14% increase)
To launch the campaign, blood donors from each of the four main blood groups appeared in London, painted with blood vessel and blood group ‘body art–ery’ to raise awareness of the need for donors of all blood types to act now. The launch saw the ‘body art–ery’ painted donors visiting various locations to capture public attention and direct people to make an appointment online or by phone. Recipients of life–saving blood transfusions also appeared with the donors to simulate the transfer of the life giving blood from one arm to another.
Ahead of the summer events additional appointments have been created and selected blood donor sessions have extended opening hours to give donors more flexibility to schedule a visit to their local session at a convenient time. People who haven’t donated before and may not know their blood type are also encouraged to help with the national stock–build effort by making an appointment now to donate for the first time.
Blood donations are a vital resource to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, people involved in accidents and in maternity care. Hospitals across England and North Wales need 7,000 units of blood every day and each unit saves or improves the lives of three patients.
New donation criteria, recently introduced by NHSBT, means that men can now donate blood more frequently. Male donors can now give four times in 12 months, as long as they wait 12 weeks between donations. This change brings NHSBT in line with other European countries such as Portugal and Italy who allow men to donate four times a year. Women are advised to only donate three times a year to protect them from developing health problems such as anaemia.
If you are eligible to donate or are thinking of donating for the first time;
Book an appointment here http://www.blood.co.uk/SessionSearcher/Search.aspx
Register as new donor here https://secure.blood.co.uk/enrol.asp
Alternatively, ring us on 0300 123 23 23 and make an appointment now.
1 Based on 2011 stock levels
2 Blood stocks fell by 20% for example during the 2006 World Cup due to disrupted supply
3 Based on 23 July 2011 stock levels
Every year the lives of thousands of people are saved or transformed through organ transplantation. Join the register.
Platelet donations are often life-saving. Have you given blood before? You may be able to donate platelets. More about Platelet Donation.
The British Bone Marrow Registry is a division of NHS Blood and Transplant. More about the BBMR.
Tissue donation gives many families the option of making a difference to others. More about Tissue Donation.
In creating one life why not save another? Are you pregnant and live in North London? You may be able to donate cord blood. More about Cord Blood Donation.