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Moira Eadie, Blood Transfusion Service
"It really is a very serious problem at this time of the year"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 27 December, 2000, 12:08 GMT
Blood donor plea as stocks dip
donor
New donors are needed
Blood service bosses are calling for more donors to come forward as the festive season is leaving supplies at a low level.

The service, which organises donor sessions around the country, needs approximately 10,000 donations a day to meet the needs of patients.

The National Blood Service is traditionally stretched between Christmas and New Year, and has less than three days supply of some types of blood left.

Regular donors can be away over the Christmas break, and the arrival of the flu season can also reduce the number attending sessions.

Blood supplies are not just needed to treat the victims of accidents, but also to help patients suffering from many different illnesses.

Launching a campaign to recruit new donors earlier this month, Mike Fogden, chairman of the National Blood Service, said: "Of particular importance over the festive period are platelets, a component of blood, which play a vital role in the treatment of leukaemia and other cancer-related illnesses.

Platelet count

"Platelets only have a shelf-life of five days, which is why it is vitally important to constantly replenish stocks."

Every donor attending a donor session between now and 5 January will receive a one-off calendar containing the stories of 12 people who survived thanks to donated blood.

Annually, patients use in the region of 2.5m units of blood nationwide.

Anyone between the age of 17 and 70 (60, for first time donors), and weighing more than 7st 12lbs can give blood.

Details of donor sessions around the country can be found on 0845 7711711.

Giving blood does not cause any long term problems to the human body, as the blood cells and fluids lost are swiftly replenished by the body.

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04 Dec 00 | Health
NHS crisis 'here already'
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