LONDON, November 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
THIS CHRISTMAS more than 200,000 blood donors are needed to give a very special gift and help hundreds of thousands of patients.
Last year 1 in 5 blood donor appointments were missed over the festive period putting critical operation under unnecessary pressure.
NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for more people across England and North Wales to make time this Christmas to give a gift only they can give and make a blood - or platelet - donation.
Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant Assistant Director said: "Blood stock levels can drop dramatically over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood slips off the nation's to-do lists.
"At this time of year many people want to give something more than material gifts. A blood donation truly is the gift only you can give and with one single donation you can save or improve up to three lives.
"Don't worry if you've never given blood before -now is a great time to sign up and start giving."
Around 210,000 whole blood donations are needed over the coming six weeks to supply hospitals across England and North Wales treating patients with cancer and anaemias, after accidents or childbirth complications, and during surgery.
And over the festive period 12,500 platelet donations are needed to help treat patients with cancer, serious blood disorders and those who have undergone transplants.
Every blood donation is vital, but over winter months there is a particular need of a regular supply of group O Rh Negative to respond to patient need.
To book an appointment to donate and give the gift only you can give, visit http://www.blood.co.uk or call 0300-123-2323 to find your nearest session.
Notes to editors
- NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
- A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
- There are four main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. A regular supply of all blood groups is vital - red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days.
Note to Editors:
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SOURCE NHS Blood and Transplant