Women well ahead of men when it comes to giving blood
MEN across Bristol are being urged to make a New Year resolution - to give blood. New figures have revealed that almost twice as many women as men in the city signed up to give blood in 2018.
Figures show that last year 166 women in Bristol who registered in January became blood donors, compared to only 101 men.
This is despite the fact that male donors are more likely to have blood that can be used for some products such as platelets and allogeneic serum drops to treat people with dry eye conditions.
Now NHS Blood and Transplant is urging men in Bristol to match women in making becoming a blood donor their New Year’s resolution for 2019.
Donors of every gender are welcome, and men and women can have the same blood groups.
However, men’s blood can contain fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells because women often make these antibodies during pregnancy. This means male blood is often more suitable for creating blood products used to treat patients.
Men also generally have higher iron levels than women, so they are less likely to be deferred from donating due to low haemoglobin.
Factors affecting male donor recruitment are thought to include the recent greater use of social media campaigns, which are more popular with women.
Mike Stredder, director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s vital that more men start donating blood because their blood is used to provide life-saving products like plasma and platelets – to save victims of burns, car crashes and treat to patients with cancer.
“We’re incredibly grateful to all our female donors in Bristol who are vital in providing lifesaving blood to those in need.
“But we need men to catch up with recent recruitment because their blood can have different characteristics which can make it important in certain situations.
“It’s more likely that we can use men’s blood to stop bleeding after injury or surgery.
“A recent study has shown that fewer men are scared of donating blood than women, so I would appeal to them to step up and be part of an already amazing group of people who have kept their resolution to give blood.”
There are more than 9,000 active blood donors in Bristol, with most giving blood at Bristol donor centre at Southmead Hospital.
Giving blood is quick and easy and just one donation can save or improve the lives of three people desperately in need of a blood transfusion.
Mr Stredder added: “Across England, 830,000 people gave blood in 2018.
“We know lots of people often make a new year’s resolution to give blood, but many don’t keep it.
“We need those who have taken the first step and registered to give blood to keep that resolution and make an appointment to donate at Bristol Donor Centre.
“There are blood donation sessions held across the city regularly, but the donor centre in Southmead is likely to have more appointments available in the mornings, evenings and at weekends.”
More than 200,000 new donors are needed to give blood every year across England to replace those who can no longer donate regularly due to things like ill health, foreign travel or pregnancy.
To make an appointment call 0300 123 23 23 or use the GiveBlood app, or going online at www.blood. co.uk