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Universal blood donors urgently needed
AN urgent appeal has been launched for blood donors who are O Rh negative to come forward after a fall in donations over the festive period.
Donors with O- blood are known as the universal donor as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group.
Blood stocks often dip around holiday time as people can’t always attend sessions and the recent outbreak of norovirus has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people cancelling appointments.
The non-attendance by O- 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, with 50 per cent more O- issued to hospitals on Christmas Eve than on an average day and 35 per cent more on New Year’s Eve, stocks have fallen.
Jon Latham, assistant director of marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We would like to urge all O- donors to walk into their most convenient donor session to give blood to help rebuild stock levels.
“We are always grateful to donors who respond to calls such as this and appreciate that in doing so they do give up some of their precious time.
“Waiting times may vary in the next few days as we try to accommodate all donors. 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.”
Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg and in general good health, can give blood.
For more information, to book an appointment or to find a local blood donor session, call 0300 123 23 23 or visit blood.co.uk.