Give blood plea

Singer Sophie Ellis Bextor prepares to give blood at the West End Donor Centre in central London

Singer Sophie Ellis Bextor prepares to give blood at the West End Donor Centre in central London

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WIGANERS are being urged to give blood in 2012 as experts fear a severe shortage in the months ahead.

Blood stocks may be hit by 2012 events like the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, according to the NHS body responsible for England and north Wales.

Extra bank holidays could lead to a drop in donations as most people give blood during the working week, said NHS Blood and Transplant.

It says hospitals will need about 2m pints (1.1m litres) of blood, plus an extra supply for Olympic visitors.

It called on the public to make blood donation a New Year’s resolution.

Supplies of donated blood are needed by the NHS for people having surgery or giving birth and those with conditions such as cancer and sickle cell disease.

NHS Blood and Transplant said it was concerned the cluster of major events in 2012 could create a “perfect storm” and dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.

Assistant director for blood donation, Jon Latham, said: “Approximately two million units [470mls - just under a pint] of blood will be needed by hospitals throughout 2012, and the equivalent of 500 extra donations will be needed each week in the first six months to help us build blood stocks and cover extra potential need from Olympic visitors.”

Anyone interested in donating blood can call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk