Remember to give blood during the May holidays

NHS Blood and Transplant is reminding people to give blood as the May bank holidays approach.

The service is reminding people in Eastbourne to think about those less fortunate than themselves and make a date to donate.

Hospitals across England and North Wales need more than 6,000 blood donations every day to treat patients.

While many people think that blood is used mainly for accidents and emergencies, donated blood is vital for a wide variety of life-saving procedures.

A blood transfusion can help to save the life of a new mother or it could be used to treat blood disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia and Thalassaemia.

Michelle Laserna, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said, “As the weather gets better we understand that people would like to spend time enjoying it with their loved ones but please don’t forget about those patients who rely on blood donors to save their lives or keep them well, so they can enjoy the good weather too.

It is always an important time to give blood, but stocks can be more vulnerable around public holidays. We would like to encourage both new and existing donors in Sussex to take the time to donate blood this May.

Michelle Laserna

“It is always an important time to give blood, but stocks can be more vulnerable around public holidays. We would like to encourage both new and existing donors in Sussex to take the time to donate blood this May.

“We can promise them a warm welcome and the satisfaction of knowing that their life-saving donation will be used to help people.

“Giving blood should take less than an hour from arriving at your appointment time to completing your donation. So make the time to give blood, you never know whose life you could save.”

Every blood donation is vital, but NHS Blood and Transplant particularly needs to ensure supplies of the universal blood group O Rh Negative which is often in short supply as demand is so great.

We also need to ensure supplies of the rarer blood groups A Rh Negative, B Rh Negative and AB Rh Negative as these are also vulnerable to shortfall.

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.

There will be a number of sessions on May 13 and 26 at Shinewater Sports Centre and at The Winter Garden.

Donation sessions are taking place across the county on various dates in May and appointments can be made on the website or over the phone.

To find out more about the process or to make an appointment to give blood visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

It is also easy to book through mobile apps for Windows, Android and Apple devices. To download the app, search NHSGiveBlood in the app store.