Help NHS to keep the blood stocks topped up over Easter

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Blood donors in Eastbourne are being encouraged to keep their appointments during March to help meet patient demand over the Easter holidays.

A total of 6,000 units of blood are needed by hospitals across England and North Wales every day to treat patients.

Blood is used for wide variety of life-saving procedures. This includes helping to save the life of a new mother during or after childbirth or treating patients with blood disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia, which require regular transfusions. Red cells last for only 35 days while the shelf life of platelets, a clotting factor used to help treat patients with leukaemia and cancer, is even shorter at just seven days.

NHSBT collects 1.7 million units of blood each year from more than 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues and the service needs to keep up the numbers during holiday periods.

Michelle Laserna, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said, “We rely on our loyal donors in Eastbourne to help us make sure that vital supplies of blood are available for patients when they need it.

“If you have an appointment in March, please keep it, especially if your blood group is O- negative or A- negative.

“If you find you can’t please let us know as soon as possible, so we can make the appointment available to someone else.

“We also welcome new donors in the Eastbourne area and if you’ve never given blood before, now is a good time to start. It’s easy to sign up online and book an appointment.”

To donate blood for the first time you need to be aged between 17 and 66.

First you need to register, either online at www.blood.co.uk or by calling the 24 hour donor helpline on 0300 123 2323.

Once registered, book an appointment for your nearest blood donor session and then come along and make your first donation. Donors can also book appointments through mobile apps by searching NHSGiveBlood.

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