With Easter just a few weeks away NHS Blood and Transplant is reminding Eastbourne residents to make a date to donate and help save lives.
Many people choose to spend the Easter break with friends and family but NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to also think about those less fortunate than themselves and give blood at a time when it is traditional to give chocolate and gifts.
While many people think that blood is used mainly in accident and emergency situations, donated blood is vital for a wide variety of life-saving procedures.
Blood transfusions can help to treat people with cancer, various types of anaemia and other long term illnesses as well as maternity care.
Selina Charles,senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant said, “During the Easter period we normally give gifts and chocolate to loved ones.
“By giving blood you could be helping to save lives.
Giving blood doesn’t take too long. It should take less than an hour from arriving at your appointment time to completing your donation.Selina Charles, senior marketing coordinator
“Blood donations are always needed but it is particularly important to give around Easter as blood stocks are often more vulnerable around public holidays. This is due to people going away or spending more time outdoors with family and friends as the weather improves.
“We would like to thank all our blood donors for helping us to keep blood stocks at a healthy level in the past few months.
“We really appreciate their dedication to blood donation. However, as the need for blood never stops and hospitals in England and North Wales need more than 6,000 blood donations every day, I urge both new and returning donors to make a date to donate.
“Giving blood doesn’t take too long. It 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.
To book an appointment to donate visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to find your nearest session.
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.
NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales.
It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs. Donors can search for sessions, change their contact details, book appointments and change/cancel their appointments in real time on www.blood.co.uk