LONDON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
National Blood Week Kicks Off 11th - 17th June 2012
National blood stocks have fallen by 7% over the jubilee weekend according to latest figures from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) which today launches its annual awareness campaign, National Blood Week, to urge the public to donate blood.
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Past experience shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations as people become distracted and routines are disrupted - for example blood stocks fell by 20% during the 2006 World Cup.
During the National Blood Week recruitment drive additional appointments have been created and selected blood donor sessions have extended opening hours to give donors more flexibility to schedule a visit. Regional recruitment events will also be driving awareness and enabling people to sign up.
To launch the 2012 National Blood Week, Made In Chelsea's Rosie Fortescue has rolled her sleeves up to recreate the heroic 'Rosie the Riveter' WWII poster and issue a rallying cry for new and existing blood donors to come forward. Rosie Fortescue, who shares her name with the 1940s poster girl, said: "This woman clearly knew how to get things done, and I feel honoured to become a modern day campaigner for the national blood stock build. Blood supplies are vital to the health service and every unit of blood can save or improve the lives of up to three people."
Jon Latham, spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "We know from experience that major public events have a big impact on blood stocks so we prepared ahead for the jubilee to build stocks in advance but we now need a huge effort from the public ahead of a summer of sport. This year we need to build 30% increase in blood stock levels ahead of the Olympics celebrations - so please make a date to donate."
HOW TO DONATE: If you are eligible to donate or are thinking of donating for the first time please go to http://www.blood.co.uk or ring us now on 0300-123-23-23 to make an appointment.
ABOUT NATIONAL BLOOD WEEK: The second annual NATIONAL BLOOD WEEK will be held from 11th - 17th June 2012 and see events held across the country to thank the 4% of the population who are currently blood donors and encourage the remaining 96% of people in England and North Wales to come forward and make a date to donate. The focal point of the week is WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY on June 14th. A World Health Organisation global health awareness day, World Blood Donor Day marks the birth of Nobel Prize winner Karl Landsteiner, who first discovered the main blood grouping system in 1900. The day hopes to encourage further volunteers across the globe to donate blood and also lead way to improving the safety and adequacy of national blood supplies.
Notes to editors:
- The 30% stock build increase is needed to combat the drop in donations as people become distracted and their day to day routines are disrupted by the celebrations. Over 1 million additional visitors to the UK could also add to demand for blood due to illness or injury during the Games
- New donation criteria recently introduced by the NHS Blood & Transplant means that men can now donate blood more frequently bringing their total annual donation opportunities to four times a year
- NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) 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
- NHSBT collects approximately two million units of blood each year from 1.4 million blood donors
- The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily
- Around 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors
- A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
- Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations
- There are four main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. Over 95% of the blood collected is processed into its main components - red cells, platelets and plasma. A regular supply of blood is vital as red cells last only 35 days and platelets only seven days
- Negative blood types are rarer among our indigenous population, which places more need on people of these blood types to donate
- Compared with global blood types, however, the UK has a lower than average percentage of types B+ (8% UK vs. 20% global) and AB+ (3% UK vs. 5% global) creating a potential greater need for these blood types.
SOURCE NHS Blood & Transplant