Wigan men are being urged to step up and become blood donors as new figures show they are lagging way behind women.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) say last year 555 women in Greater Manchester registered last year to donate blood donors, compared to only 316 men, despite males being more likely to have blood that can be used for some products such as platelets and allogeneic serum drops to treat people with dry eye conditions.
Donors of every gender are welcome, and men and women can have the same blood groups. However, men’s blood can contain fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells because women often make these antibodies during pregnancy.
This means male blood is often more suitable for creating blood products used to treat patients.
Men also generally have higher iron levels than women, so they are less likely to be deferred from donating due to low haemoglobin.
Every day thousands of people’s lives are saved or improved thanks to the generosity of donors, but, sadly, there are still lots of patients who can’t treat because there aren’t enough supplies.
NHSBT has been analysing donor recruitment trends and is now working on reaching more male potential donors. Factors affecting male donor recruitment are thought to include the recent greater use of social media campaigns, which are more popular with women.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHSBT, said: “It’s vital that more men start donating blood because their blood is used to provide life-saving products like plasma and platelets – to save victims of burns, car crashes and treat to patients with cancer.
“We’re incredibly grateful to all our female donors who are vital in providing lifesaving blood to those in need. But we need men to catch up with recent recruitment because their blood can have different characteristics which can make it important in certain situations. It’s more likely that we can use men’s blood to stop bleeding after injury or surgery. A recent study has shown that fewer men are scared of donating blood than women, so I would appeal to them to step up to give blood.”
“We know lots of people often make a new year’s resolution to give blood, but many don’t keep it. We need those who have taken the first step and registered to give blood to keep that resolution and make an appointment to donate. There are blood donation sessions held across the area regularly, but the donor centre is likely to have more appointments available in the mornings, evenings and at weekends.”
More than 200,000 new donors are needed to give blood every year across England to replace those who can no longer donate regularly due to things like ill health, foreign travel or pregnancy.
It is quick and easy to make, view and change appointments by calling 0300 123 23 23, using the GiveBlood app, or going online at www.blood.co.uk