Plea for donors to give blood at Christmas

Blood donors are being reminded that blood is needed all year round, especially at Christmas.

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging donors to make and keep appointments to donate blood this month, to ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over the festive season.

There is demand for lifesaving blood and platelets 365 days a year – this doesn’t stop for Christmas. Many children and adults will need transfusions over the festive period, for example as treatment for a blood condition or cancer or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.

About a third of appointments remain unbooked in December and, over the festive season, around 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed.

If you are unable to make your appointment please let the team know, with seven days notice if possible, so that another blood donor can be booked in. In December the number of appointments cancelled by donors, within three days of the session, rises by nearly a third.

All blood groups are being asked to make and keep their lifesaving appointment in the run up to and over Christmas, but vulnerable groups like O negative, B negative and A negative platelets are particularly important.

It’s also important to get donations from across the country’s diverse population, as some disorders are more common in certain ethnic backgrounds and patients need to receive well-matched blood. Donors from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match.

Director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant Mike Stredder said: “We need our amazing donors more than ever at this time of year.

“If you make and keep an appointment this December you will be saving and improving lives over the festive season – can you think of a better gift to give?

“Please make a date to donate now. If you cannot make your appointment to give blood, please let us know as soon as possible.”

To book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk