Women well ahead of men when it comes to giv­ing blood

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Heather PICKSTOCK [email protected]­plc.com

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

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