Help save lives by giving blood this winter

AS CHRISTMAS decorations go up, blood stocks go down leading to an urgent plea from the NHS Blood and Transplant service for Eastbourne people to give blood.

The organisation is urging members of the public to give the ultimate Christmas present this year – the gift of life – by becoming a blood donor.

Already December appointments nationally are far lower than the yearly average, some 15,000 fewer in 2010.

Dominic Sutherland from the service said, “By giving blood you’ll be giving the greatest Christmas present of all – the gift of life.

“Just one unit of blood can save the life of three adults or seven babies. It is truly a ‘money cannot buy’ present. Donating blood is one of the best Christmas gifts you can give.

“For those needing blood transfusions, blood donors really are their lifeline. Ninety-six per cent of us rely on the other four per cent to give blood. Please don’t leave it to someone else.”

TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, who is supporting the campaign, said, “Donated blood is used to save the lives of new mums and their babies every single day. I can’t imagine a better gift to give this Christmas, can you?

“Giving blood is quick and easy – visit blood.co.uk to find your nearest donation session and give the gift of life this Christmas.”

People need to receive blood for a variety of reasons including childbirth, accidents, cancer and surgery.

The NHS needs 7,000 units of donated blood every day and 230,000 new donors each year to help maintain blood stock levels. Thousands of lives are saved or improved thanks to selfless blood donors.

NHSBT is also working to boost stocks of O Rh negative and B Rh negative blood through-out December and is asking for people with these blood types to come forward and donate in the run up to Christmas.

People can start donating from the age of 17. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit the www.blood.co.uk website to find out about nearest blood donation sessions.

For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, call 0300 123 2323 or follow NHSBT at http://www.facebook.com/NHSBlood or www.twitter.com/NHSGiveBlood.