NATIONAL: Urgent calls for people to donate blood as stocks run low

Calls are being made for people to donate blood.
Calls are being made for people to donate blood.
The staff at the Cowplain PDSA. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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URGENT appeals are being made for people with O negative or B negative blood to donate as stocks are running low.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs people with these blood types to donate now as demand increases.

The lack of O negative and B negative donors giving blood in the run up to the bank holiday has meant stocks of these groups could fall below two days.

O negative is the universal blood group and is often used when a patient’s blood type is not known. It is also being used as an emergency substitute for Ro blood.

This rare subtype is more common in black people and there is a huge shortage of Ro blood donors.

B negative stocks are also low because many patients with serious blood disorders, like sickle cell, need B negative blood. Only two per cent of donors have this blood group.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: ‘The overall demand for blood is declining year on year.

‘However, the need for specific blood groups such as Ro blood type and O negative are on the increase.

‘We need an additional 4,000 regular O negative donors to those we have now to consistently provide seriously ill patients with the blood they need.

‘If you know you are O negative or B negative and have never donated before, now is the time to make a difference.’

O negative and B negative donors can walk in and donate at most of the NHS Blood and Transplant fixed-site donor centres, without the need to make an appointment.

The nearest site is Southampton Blood Donor Centre, on Coxford Road.

Alternatively call 0300 123 23 23 to ask for a priority appointment at a community blood sessions.