Blood donors called on to make 2023 the year they save lives - The Solihull Observer

Blood donors called on to make 2023 the year they save lives

Solihull Editorial 21st Feb, 2023   0

ANYONE thinking about becoming a blood donors are being called on to take action and make 2023 the year they save lives.

NHS Blood and Transplant has issued an appeal as figures reveal around 235,000 people who signed up to give blood last year are yet to make their first donation.

During 2022 more than 26,200 people registered with Give Blood in the West Midlands but only around 7,300 of them have taken the next step and attended an appointment – meaning around four in five are yet to do so.

The first ever amber alert on blood stocks shortages during October sparked a huge response from the public wanting to help and led to 5,694 people in the West Midlands registering over the four weeks.

Blood stocks have since stabilised and there are now more slots available for new donors. NHS Blood and Transplant is urging new registrants who have not yet donated to take the next step and book an appointment.

There is an urgent need for more donors of Black heritage as they are more likely to have the blood type needed to treat sickle cell patients – the country’s fastest growing genetic blood disorder. The demand for ethnically matched blood for these patients is on the rise and has already doubled in recent years.

The call comes as NHS Blood and Transplant launches the second phase of its first ever mass home blood type testing campaign to help identify 5,000 individuals with the critical O negative blood.

O negative blood is the universal blood type that can be given to any patient in an emergency or where their blood type isn’t known.

This is part of an ongoing focus by the NHS to collect enough of the right blood types, instead of collecting as much blood as possible.

David Rose, director of donor experience at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We always need new people to join our amazing community of lifesaving blood donors and help meet the needs of patients right now and in the future.

“If you are one of the nearly 19,000 people in the West Midlands who registered last year but are yet to attend an appointment, or you’re thinking about signing up to donate, please make 2023 the year you save lives.

“More slots are now available for first time donors but if you can’t find an immediate appointment, don’t worry. Please book for further in the future as we need lifesavers every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s months or weeks ahead – every donation counts. Giving blood is quick and easy, and you will feel amazing afterwards.”

Register now and book an appointment here or on the GiveBloodNHS app or call 0300 123 23 23.


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