WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY: Fewer people in Blackpool are making donations

Blackpool's pool of blood donors was lower last year than before the pandemic, new figures show, as the NHS pushes for more people to register ahead of World Blood Donor Day.

By Simon Drury
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 12:19 pm

Each year the NHS’s Blood and Transplant division publishes figures on donations ahead of the annual event, which falls on June 14 and raises awareness of the need for safe blood around the globe.

This year, NHSBT is calling for more donors to come forward after seeing a drop in donations across England during the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures from NHSBT show 930 people gave blood in Blackpool in the year to March – an increase on 913 the year before, but lower than the year to March 2020, when 1,086 people donated.

Fewer people giving blood in Blackpool than before the Coronavirus pandemic

The organisation said demand for blood dropped during the pandemic as hospitals suspended routine care – but more donors are now needed to due to a drop in recruitment and hospital activity picking up again.

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It has set a target of nearly 175,000 new donors nationally – including 20,358 across the North West – to make up for the shortfall.

The NHS is particularly short of blood types O negative and B negative, and is encouraging people to get tested to see if they have in-demand, rare blood that could save lives.

Head of blood donation marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, Alex Cullen, said: “The NHS needs more donors over the next five years of all blood types.

"We especially need more Black African and Black Caribbean donors to help patients with sickle cell.

“A mass public campaign is being held this National Blood Week and throughout June to identify people with most needed blood types. This year we’re encouraging more people to donate and find out their blood type – it’s quick and easy."

Figures for Blackpool show 95 new donors gave blood for the first time in the year to March – a rise from 57 the year before, and lower than the year to March 2020, when 171 people donated for the first time.

The number of new people registering to give blood in the area is also below pre-pandemic levels, with 578 people registering in 2021-22, compared to 858 in 2019-20.

Across England, the number of blood donors has been declining for some time.

In the year to March, 789,840 people donated – while 878,612 did in the year to March 2016.

Blood donations are taken across the country, in established centres and by NHS roving blood donation teams.

Register to give blood and book an appointment by calling 0300 123 23 23, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or visiting blood.co.uk.

WHO CAN GIVE BLOOD?

The NHS notes that you can donate if you fit the following criteria:

- fit and healthy- weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs and 25 stone, or 50kg and 160kg- are aged between 17 and 66 (or 70 if you have given blood before)- are over 70 and have given blood in the last two year

You may not be able to give blood if you are any of the following.

- if you are receiving medical or hospital treatment

- if you are taking medication-

after travelling outside of the UK-

after having a tattoo or piercing

- during and after pregnancy

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