Call for new donors as bad weather hits blood supply

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AN URGENT appeal is being made for blood donors to come forward in Wigan and help limit the effects of an expected further bout of bad weather this week on blood stocks.

Stocks of one particular blood group - O negative - have fallen below preferred levels and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is appealing in particular to these donors to come forward to replenish stocks. Group O negative is particularly important as this blood can be given safely to patients with other blood groups.

Platelet donors who are due to donate are also being reminded to step forward to give now. As platelets only have a shelf life of five days it is vital that these stocks are constantly replenished.

Bad weather over the past few weeks has affected blood donor sessions with 69 sessions being cancelled in one week alone across England and North Wales during the worst of the weather. At the sessions which did take place fewer donors attended than would normally have been expected.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHSBT, said: “To boost stocks we need to ensure that we make the most of the sessions that are going ahead.”

First time donors should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lb) and in general good health.

If you’ve donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

To book an appointment call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk