NHS appeals for Somerset blood donors
The five-year Blood Service Strategy launched this week sets ambitious plans to recruit new blood donors, Nationally the aim is to double the number of regular donors with the rarest blood types. This would ensure better matched blood types for patients in the future and reduce health inequalities.
In Somerset the NHS reckon they will need 3,512 new donors. That should give enough blood and enough blood types to help save lives over the next year. Both here and around the UK.
It is surprising how many people do not know the main blood types which are:
- O positive (35 per cent of the population),
- O negative (13 per cent),
- A positive (30 per cent),
- A negative (8 per cent),
- B positive (8 per cent),
- B negative (2 per cent), and
- AB positive (2 per cent)
Attend a What’s Your Blood Type event or register today and book an appointment by visiting blood.co.uk. Alternatively you can download the GiveBloodNHS app or by calling 0300 123 23 23. Or if you are an existing donor and have not donated in a while, please book your next appointment, or keep checking back for future appointments. Stephen Cornes, Director of Blood Supply at NHS Blood and Transplant says “Blood donation generally takes up to an hour and you will be doing something amazing.“
There are other rarer blood types in demand too. The NHS has a particular urgency for more donors of Black African/Black Caribbean ethnicity to treat people with sickle cell. Sickle cell is the fastest growing genetic blood disorder in the UK and mostly affects people of Black heritage. It requires regular transfusions – most often with the specific blood sub type Ro. Most patients are children, and demand for Ro blood is projected to double from 2016/17 – 2025/26. Fifty five percent of Black blood donors have the Ro subtype compared to 2.4% of donors from other ethnicities.