Drive to maintain blood stock levels at Christmas
Health chiefs are calling on people in east Suffolk to help contribute to a Christmas blood stock campaign.
NHS Blood and Transplant has launched a drive to find more than 200,000 blood donors during the festive season to help hundreds of thousands of patients.
Last year, a fifth of all blood donor appointments were missed during the period, putting the health authority’s critical operation under unnecessary pressure.
Selina Charles, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Blood stock levels can drop dramatically over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood slips off the nation’s to-do lists.
“At this time of year many people want to give something more than material gifts. A blood donation truly is the gift only you can give and with one single donation you can save or improve up to three lives.
“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before – now is a great time to sign up and start giving.”
Around 210,000 whole blood donations will be needed over the coming six weeks to supply hospitals across England and North Wales treating patients with cancer and anaemias, after accidents or childbirth complications, and during surgery.
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A further 12,500 platelet donations are needed to help treat patients with cancer, serious blood disorders and those who have undergone transplants.
There is a particularly need to ensure supplies of the universal blood group O Rh Negative, which is often in short supply as demand is so great.
Rarer blood groups A Rh Negative, B Rh Negative and AB Rh Negative are also vulnerable to shortfall.
For certain conditions, like sickle cell anaemia, it is beneficial for patients to receive blood from the same ethnic background.
Just 4% of active blood donors are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds.
Blood donor sessions are being held at Sizewell Sports and Social Club, in King George’s Avenue, Leiston, from 1.15pm-3.30pm and from 4.45pm-7pm on Wednesday, November 26.
To book an appointment to donate, visit blood.co.uk, or call 0300 123 2323 to find your nearest session.