Major events this year could prevent blood donations

Blood donor event
Blood samples Photo: ITV News

The NHS is warning that the unusually high number of public events in the UK during 2012 could prevent people from donating blood.

Health bosses say Britain’s blood stocks need to rise 30% above normal levels this summer.

There are now fears that the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics will mean that for many, giving blood will not be a priority.

Nicola Grantham, from Nuneaton, believes that could cost lives.

Nicola and Annabel Grantham
Nicola Grantham with daughter Annabel Grantham from Nuneaton Credit: Nicola Grantham

She needed an emergency caesarean following the birth of her baby daughter 6 months ago.

She said : “ I dread to think what would have happened if the blood hadn’t been available. I am so grateful and I would love to give something back, so please donate this summer to save

lives”.

The influx of visitors from overseas will also increase medical need and may place pressure on certain blood groups that are more common in other countries.

Britons with O positive and O negative blood types are particularly in demand.

Over the coming months, many blood donor centres in the Midlands are extending their opening hours to give greater flexibilty.

In Leicester, between 30 and 80 people come to give blood at each session in the city centre. Gabrielle Tate is a student who is keen to encourage others to visit the facility on Vaughan Way.

She said “I started giving blood when my grandmother fell ill a few years ago. It made me realise how important it was. It’s so easy and it can make such a difference to someone’s life”

First time donors are also being encouraged to give blood to cope with the demand.

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.

Hospitals in England and Wales need 7,000 units of blood every day and each unit saves or improves the lives of three patients.

Rajiv Popat has the full story: