1. ITV Report

Blood donors needed to stop Olympics shortage

People across London are being urged to donate blood over fears there may be shortages during the Olympics.

Blood donations usually fall when there are large scale public and sporting events, as regular donors struggle to make appointments with the disruption bank holidays cause to their schedules.

With events like the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee coming up, the NHS Blood and Transplant service are trying to boost stocks to prevent a shortfall.

Blood being donated at a centre in London Credit: ITV News

It's aiming to stockpile plasma before the busy summer period, and the service is hoping to get 30% more people than usual to donate blood in the coming weeks.

Donors of all blood groups are needed to help build stock but there are particularly high targets for the following blood groups to help build and adjust the blood mix:

  • O+ (52% increase)
  • O- (43% increase)
  • B- (14% increase)

Jon Latham, spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant, said:

"This year we have a unique situation and need the publics help to counterbalance the inevitable dip in donations as people celebrate a memorable summer for the country. We need to adjust the mix of stocks so we are prepared for overseas visitors as well so we are well prepared as a responsible host for these exciting events."

– Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant

Ahead of the busy summer events, extra appointments are being made available and some donor centres are opening later to enable more flexibility for people who want to donate.

For more information visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website or call 0300 123 23 23.