Blood donors needed to boost stocks ahead of the Olympics
BLOOD donors in Plymouth are being urged to help boost stocks by the start of the Olympics.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has launched an appeal to increase stocks to 30 per cent above usual levels by July.
The 172,000 registered donors in the South West are being asked to donate.
The increase is needed because of the unusually high number of public events in the UK this summer, including the Olympic Games.
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Past experience shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations, as routines are disrupted.
This, combined with the high numbers of international visitors with a different native blood mix to our own, may also put high demand on specific blood groups.
Jon Latham, of the NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "This year we have a unique situation. We need donors from the South West and across the country to help counterbalance the inevitable dip in donations, as people celebrate a memorable summer for the whole country. We need to adjust the mix of stocks, so we are well prepared as a responsible host for these exciting events."
Donors of all blood groups are needed to help build stock but there are particularly high national targets for O positive, O negative and B negative.
People who have not donated before and may not know their blood type are also encouraged to help with the national stock-build effort by making an appointment now to donate for the first time.
Blood donations are a vital resource to help treat health conditions including cancer and long-term illnesses, people involved in accidents and in maternity care.
New donation criteria, recently introduced by NHSBT, means that men can now donate blood more frequently. Male donors can now give four times in 12 months, as long as they wait 12 weeks between donations. Women are advised to only donate three times a year.
Anyone eligible to donate, or thinking of donating for the first time, can visit www.blood.co.uk or ring 0300 123 23 23 and make an appointment.