Urgent appeal for blood donors

AN urgent appeal has been made for donors with blood type O negative to come forward and replenish dwindling supplies.

According to the NHS Blood and Transplant Service, stocks dip around holiday time as people get distracted and cannot always attend their sessions.

In addition, the recent outbreak of norovirus, has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people correctly cancelling their appointments - non-attendance by O negative donors increased by 50 per cent just before New Year.

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 negative donors can help to ensure healthy blood stocks in the upcoming weeks, by giving blood now and in the next few days.”

Donors with blood group O negative are commonly known as the ‘universal donor’ as their blood can be given to patients with a different type in an emergency. Approximately seven per cent of the population have this blood group.

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Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50 kg (7stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the past two years.

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