NHS calls for new blood donors to fight shortage
PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 June 2018
NHS bosses have issued an urgent appeal for new blood donors after a drop in stock levels has left ‘seriously ill’ patients struggling to find a match.
NHS Blood and Transplant is looking for people with O negative and B negative blood to donate after a lack of donors has seen supplies at risk of falling below two days worth.
There are 4,345 active blood donors in North Somerset but unfortunately there is a significant shortage in the rare Ro type means more would-be donors are being urged to come forward.
The type is particularly common in black people but most members of the public with Ro blood are not aware they have it until they donate.
More than 7,000 donors gave blood following an NHS appeal last year, but more O negative donors are needed, with the blood type used as an emergency Ro substitute.
Shailesh Mistry, West regional donor manager, said: “The overall demand for blood is declining year on year.
“However, the need for specific blood groups such as Ro blood type and O negative are on the increase.
“We need an additional 4,000 regular O negative donors to those we have now to consistently provide seriously ill patients with the blood they need.
“If you know you are O negative or B negative and have never donated before, now is the time to make a difference.
“If you are O or B negative, please call us on 03001 232323 to get a priority appointment or walk in to our donor centre at Southmead hospital to give blood.”
Nationally the NHS Blood and Transplant service needs at least 40,000 new black donors to help Sickle Cell patients.
There are 15,000 people living with the condition in the country while more than 300 babies are born each year with it.
Changes to the way Sickle Cell is treated means demand has significantly increased with donations struggling to keep pace.
NHS Blood and Transplant must collect 1.5 million units of blood every year to meet the needs of thousands of patients across England.
Almost 200,000 new donors are required each year to replace others who are no longer able to give blood due to ill health or pregnancy.
For more information, visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk
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