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Added on: 1st December, 2016 by Jane _20810
Please give blood in Dronfield this December
• Around a third of donation appointments remain unbooked in December
• Over the festive season around 24,000 appointments to give blood are missed
• In December the number of appointments cancelled by donors rises by nearly a third
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.
With the winter weather, rise in colds and bugs, travelling and people getting busy, giving blood and platelets can slip off to-do lists. Around a third of appointments remain unbooked in December. Over the festive season around 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed. It’s really important that donors who can give blood or platelets do so, please make and keep an appointment.
If you are unable to make your appointment please let us know, with seven days notice if possible, so that we can book another blood donor in. In December the number of appointments cancelled by donors, within three days of the session, rises by nearly a third.
Shaylah Haider, aged seven, from Barnet, has a rare condition and needs regular blood transfusions, even over Christmas, to keep her alive. She has severe Sickle Cell Disease – a life-threatening disorder which means she has relied on blood and platelet donors all her life. Shaylah had a stem cell transplant from her mum, Leila, in April but complications mean she is unwell again and currently having regular transfusions.
Shaylah says: “It makes me feel better because sometimes I get really tired and once I get my super girl blood I feel strong like supergirl!
“Blood donors are my heroes. I would say a big big thank you!! Thank you for being so kind and not being scared of needles like me.
“I would give them a cuddle for being so kind and chocolate because I love chocolate.”
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. If you are one of these blood groups please try your best to keep your appointment. If you can’t please let us know as soon as possible.
It’s also important we 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.
The top ten reasons to give blood up to and over Christmas are:
1. Patients need blood 365 days a year
2. Missed appointment are higher in December and early January
3. Shopping, parties and catching-up with friends and family can get in the way in donating
4. The rise in bugs and colds prevents more people from donating
5. Travelling over the festive period can get in the way of donating
6. Bad weather puts-off people from going to a donation session
7. Hospitals ask for more blood in the run up to Christmas and New Year
8. Every week, we need to replace the nation’s entire red cell stock
9. We have to replace the national supply of platelets every few days
10. Stocks of rare blood groups and platelets are most likely to fall over Christmas and New Year
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, 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.”
Red blood cells only have a shelf life of 35 days, and platelets, tiny cells in the blood which enable clotting, only have a shelf life of seven days. Every week the entire red cell stock needs replacing and the national supply of platelets needs replenishing every few days. NHS Blood and Transplant needs people to continue donating over the holiday period to renew stocks and meet demand from hospitals treating seriously ill patients.
To book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, use an NHS Give Blood app or contact us on 0300 123 23 23. If you are not able to make an appointment, please let us know with seven days notice so that another donor can donate.