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  1. ITV Report

Blood urgently needed after donations drop due to World Cup fever and heatwave

Blood stocks have halved following England's World Cup success and the hot weather Photo: NHS

The NHS has made an urgent appeal for donors after blood supplies fell by half due to the combination of England's World Cup successes and the recent heatwave.

NHS Blood and Transplant, which manages donations of blood and organs, now urgently needs more donors to come forward in Birmingham to ensure hospital patients get the blood they need.

Nationally, stocks of O negative blood have fallen from the usual six days to just three days' supply and could drop below this in the next few days.

On warm weather days blood donations usually drop by 5% to 10%.

But NHS blood donor centres have seen donations fall further on England’s match days, with a maximum drop of around 20% last Saturday (July 7) when England beat Sweden.

The blood and transplant body have said the sudden drop is due to sunbathing donors being unable to give blood as they have not been able to stay hydrated enough to do so safely. And donors have also watched England's World Cup matches instead of visiting their local blood bank.

The combined effect has cost the NHS in England around 2,000 blood donations in the last two weeks.

O negative blood donors are urgently needed in Birmingham Credit: PA

Hospital patients in Birmingham urgently need blood every day of the year, whatever the weather.

O negative is especially important because it is the universal donor group which can be given to almost anyone in emergencies. We need donors with other blood groups to keep their appointments usual but this urgent appeal is specific to O negative.

– Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant

Birmingham Blood Donor Centre is at 65 New Street in the city centre. For more information visit www.blood.co.uk