It's to rebuild blood stocks hit by the bad weather
Existing donors of all blood groups are being asked to donate at Plymouth Blood Donor Centre.
The need for blood is constant. Because of recent freezing weather and snow, many people have not been able to donate. The bad weather has also led to some sessions being cancelled. Nationally, around 6-7,000 donations have been missed, more than one days worth of collection, and more than 10 times what we would expect to supply in a terror attack.
It will take us a month to recover this fully and we expect to be running extra sessions for the rest of this month to catch up – donors can keep checking online for new availability or call the contact centre for the latest information.
We are also asking A+ and A- platelet donors who have booked appointments to do all they can to keep them if safe and possible to do so. Platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days so it’s vital that stocks are replenished on a daily basis across the country to meet the demand from hospitals. Any platelet donors who don’t have an appointment are being urged to come along to a fixed site donor centre and give as soon as they are able.
We are asking donors to walk in to donate, without the need to make an appointment in static donor centres. Static centres are more likely to be open at the weekend and are mostly situated in city centres so easier for people to get to. NHS Blood and Transplant has 23 donor centres across England, including at Plymouth Blood Donor Centre on the site of Derriford Hospital.
Donors in the West who are not near a static donor centre are being asked to book an appointment at www.blood.co.uk
All donors are welcome, but we are particularly appealing to those who have donated before as their blood group is already known. We can therefore make sure we collect enough of each blood group to ensure stocks pick up. It will take time to recover stocks so we are urging donors who cannot travel to make an appointment over the next two weeks at www.blood.co.uk
Mike Stredder, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Blood Donation said: “The recent poor weather caused the cancellation of sessions in snow hit areas and meant we collected less blood than we needed, particularly Group A, Group O and B positive donations.
“Seriously ill patients need blood every day and they rely on the generosity of people making time to donate.
“So, we are appealing for existing donors in Plymouth to come along to a session and donate if they are able. If not then please book an appointment for the near future to ensure we keep up the momentum and collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients. Please take action now and walk in and donate – you will save lives.”
You can get more information by calling the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.blood.co.uk