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Wednesday, May 04th

Last update:04 May 8:56 GMT

You are here: News News Reminder to blood donors

Reminder to blood donors

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NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is reminding blood donors to make every effort to attend upcoming sessions, where it is feasible to do so.

The last fortnight of bad weather has led to the cancellation of some sessions across the country.  NHSBT is urging those donors who are booked to give blood and can travel to sessions and donors centres safely to make every effort to keep their appointments. Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHSBT, said: "NHSBT is managing well in the current pattern of tricky weather conditions and is continuing to supply hospitals with all the blood that they need.

"However, we need those donors who are able to reach their local sessions to continue to do so.  If you have an appointment please try to keep it and if, for some reason, you cannot attend please rebook your appointment as soon as possible.  New donors are also very welcome.

"We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all those donors who have been able to attend and give blood during the bad weather."

Due to the fluctuating weather patterns it is not always easy to assess in advance when a blood donor session may have to be cancelled.  Blood stocks are turned over within a few days and both red cells and platelets have a limited shelf-life (35 days for red cells and five days for platelets).

At the present time NHSBT is aiming to collect more of the blood group O Rh D negative, which is slightly below the normal quantity held in stock.

"O-neg" donors 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.

Only four per cent of the eligible population are registered as blood donors so it is essential that donors attend to give blood when they can. 

To be potentially eligible to give blood you must be aged 17-65, weigh 7st 12lbs (50 kgs) and be in good health.  There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.  To find out more or to book an appointment please call 0300 123 23 23 or log on to www.blood.co.uk