Appeal for blood donors in the South West
8:40am Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
BLOOD donors in the South West who are O Rh negative (O-) are urgently needed to give blood this month.
The recent outbreak of norovirus (the vomiting bug) has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people correctly cancelling their appointments (non-attendance by O-neg donors increased by 50 per cent just before New Year).
Although hospitals across the country have increased their stocks of blood to cover the extended holiday period (on Christmas Eve 50 per cent more O- was issued to hospitals than on an average day and on New Year’s Eve 35 percent more), there has been a recent high demand for O- blood to meet patient need, meaning stocks have fallen.
Jon Latham, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Demand for blood never stops and O- donors can help to ensure healthy blood stocks in the upcoming weeks, by giving blood now and in the next few days."
Donors with blood group O- negative are commonly known as the ‘universal donor’ as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group.
For more information, to book an appointment or to find a local blood donor session call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk Appointments can also be booked using the newly launched application for Android and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enables donors to search for their nearest blood donation sessions.
GAZETTE FACT FILE * Healthy blood stocks are vital to ensure that patients undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases, such as leukaemia, continue to receive the transfusions they need.
* Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg (seven stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.
* Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors can donate every 12 weeks between donation