NHS Blood and Transplant warns it needs to build up stocks
Blood donors are being urged to make and keep a lifesaving appointment at Wandsworth's donor centre before Christmas, as NHS Blood and Transplant warns it needs to build up blood stocks ahead of the critical festive period.
There are still around 5,400 blood donation appointments unfilled at London’s Donor Centres in the six weeks until the New Year and every potential donation could save up to three lives. In Wandsworth there are around 1,100 blood donation appointments unfilled at Tooting Donor Centre in Cramner Terrace.
In the run up to Christmas, donations drop and some people simply do not turn up for their appointments particularly in the week before Christmas, a time when people are busy with celebrations and shopping.
NHS Blood and Transplant needs blood donors to make and keep their appointments to avoid an even more serious pre-Christmas slump. This year it fears that the forecast bad weather could keep even more donors away. The Met Office has predicted below average temperatures leading to a greater risk of frost and snow.
Donors who need to cancel are being asked to give at least three days’ notice so the slot can be given to someone else. There are around 81,177 active blood donors in Greater London.
A serious drop in donations could affect the supply of blood to the tens of thousands of people in England who will need transfusions over the festive period as treatment for a blood condition or cancer, or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.
Donors with all blood groups are being asked to keep their lifesaving appointment in the run up to and over Christmas, but vulnerable groups such as O negative, B negative and A negative are particularly important.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said, “Please make and keep an appointment to give blood at London’s donor centres. If you are having difficulties making your appointment, please make sure you contact us. We need to collect blood throughout November and December to build up stocks in time for Christmas.
“Demand for lifesaving blood doesn’t stop for Christmas. But England’s stock levels can drop dramatically if too many donor appointments go missed or unfilled.
“We know that donations slump and cancellations rise in the middle of December and the cold weather forecast could make the situation worse.
“We need our loyal donors to donate at London’s donor centres more than ever at this time of year, to make sure hospitals have the blood that seriously ill children and adults will need over Christmas and the New Year. Each donation can save up to three lives.”
It is quick and easy to make, view and change appointments by calling 0300 123 23 23 or online at www.blood.co.uk
December 18, 2018