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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Mobile blood unit unveiled
The unit will have a blood donation area
The unit has a blood donation area
A new 170,000 mobile blood donation unit for Northern Ireland has been unveiled.

The purpose-built BloodMobile contains reception, waiting, interview and blood donation areas as well as donor refreshment and rest rooms.

It replaces one of the existing conventional equipment lorry units carrying portable equipment.

Health minister Bairbre de Brun welcomed the new facility.

Bairbre de Brun: Welcomed new unit
Bairbre de Brun: Welcomed new unit

"This new state-of-the-art BloodMobile will provide easier access and better facilities for donors," she said.

"A high level of blood donation is a vital component of our health service."

Ms de Brun praised the many people in the province who donate blood.

"We all owe tremendous gratitude to the thousands of selfless people who already give blood," she said.

"With the launch of this mobile blood donation unit, I have high hopes that even more people will decide to give blood and we will soon see a marked increase in the number of people donating blood every year."

The first blood donation session on board the new unit took place at Nortel in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, on Tuesday.


Charles Kinney of the Blood Transfusion Service said the service would be boosted by the unit's ability to go to smaller towns and workplace sessions.

"This unit, with its expanding donation area of 500 square feet, is the most modern, and biggest-known of its type in the world," he said.

"We have spent seven years researching, designing and planning the BloodMobile, which will facilitate access to a whole new pool of donors here."

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, based at Belfast City Hospital, has the responsibility for collection, testing and issue of 70,000 blood donations each year.

The service operates almost 1,000 donation sessions locally at 250 different locations.

Anyone thinking of giving blood should contact the Blood Transfusion Service on their free help line - 0500 534666.

See also:

29 Jun 01 | Americas
US restricts blood supplies
26 Nov 01 | Health
Blood service appeals for donors
31 Oct 01 | Americas
US Red Cross stops seeking donations
07 Sep 01 | Health
'Give us UR blood'
12 Sep 01 | Americas
World offers help to US
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