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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK
Blood supply levels fall sharply
Blood
The SNBTS is urging people to become blood donors
A campaign is being launched to encourage more people to donate blood after it was revealed Scotland has only three days' stock of some blood groups.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) said recommended guidelines state there should be at least six days supply for all groups.

Organisers of Blood Donors Week say at least 10% more donors are needed.

There are currently about 178,000 blood donors in Scotland, but numbers tend to fall away during summer months.

The issue has prompted the service to urge donors to come forward as soon as possible to avert a further stretch on resources.

Dr Moira Carter, the national donor services manager for SNBTS, said the issue was becoming more urgent.

She said: "Blood Donor Week is an opportunity to celebrate and thank Scotland's voluntary blood donors who give so willingly of their time.

"However, we currently have only three days' supply of blood in some blood groups.

"This is very worrying. Many of our donors will leave Scotland for holidays over the summer months so supplies could drop by up to 20%."

The accident broke one of my legs and dislocated the other, so after my A&E care I needed two further operations
Rebecca Smith

An estimated 100,000 people receive blood transfusions in Scotland each year.

The number of donors is affected by the time of year with the summer months traditionally seeing less donors coming forward.

The SNBTS is concerned that stocks could fall further as holidaymakers jet off for their summer break.

Dalkeith teenager Rebecca Smith, 16, is among those who have benefited from a blood transfusion.

She received eight units of blood and six units of fresh frozen plasma after being hit by a car in March this year.

Her extensive injuries meant she spent five weeks in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

She said: "The accident broke one of my legs and dislocated the other, so after my A&E care I needed two further operations.

"I'm recovering well now and looking forward to going back to school in September.

"I'd like to say thank you to all the blood donors who were there when I needed them. I'll encourage all my friends to give blood now."

Blood donors are encouraged to give blood every 12 weeks.

In particular, the SNBTS is anxious to hear from people with O negative blood which is the only blood group that can be safely given to everyone.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The BBC's Eleanor Bradford donates blood



SEE ALSO
Polish offer rich vein of blood
30 Aug 06 |  North East/N Isles
Footballer leads blood donor plea
13 Jun 06 |  South of Scotland
Thousands of blood donors refused
25 Apr 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Age change for Scots blood donors
29 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Blood service privatisation fears
19 Nov 05 |  Scotland

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