Blood donor ser­vice in fes­tive ap­peal for donors

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - by Mark Davey [email protected]­bel­town­courier.co.uk

The Scot­tish Na­tional Blood Trans­fu­sion Ser­vice (SNBTS) re­quires 470 peo­ple to give blood ev­ery day dur­ing De­cem­ber. Last week the ser­vice sent a press re­lease to the Courier about the need for blood in the fes­tive sea­son de­spite cut­ting Kin­tyre col­lec­tions in July 2017. At the time more than 100 blood donors in Camp­bel­town were sent a let­ter by Dr Moira Carter, an as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of donor and trans­port ser­vices at SNBTS. It stated that: ‘The de­mand for blood has re­duced in the past six years. In ad­di­tion, blood has to reach a pro­cess­ing cen­tre within 22 hours from the time of the first col­lec­tion at a donor ses­sion. ‘When the dis­tances are long and the lo­gis­tics com­plex, with a risk of un­pre­dictable ad­verse weather con­di­tions, this can be chal­leng­ing and with an in­creased like­li­hood of los­ing do­na­tions due to the time re­stric­tions. ‘It is, there­fore, with re­gret that I write to in­form you that, due to our re­duced blood col­lec­tion pro­gramme and the risks of los­ing do­na­tions as­so­ci­ated with lo­gis­tics, we are not plan­ning any fur­ther ses­sions in Camp­bel­town at this time.’ In a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion dis­clo­sure, in 2015, just 0.10 per cent of all do­na­tions, rep­re­sent­ing 195, 462ml units, was dam­aged due to trans­porta­tion or dur­ing han­dling. That year Camp­bel­town do­nated at least 250 units. Pre­vi­ously SNBTS col­lected do­nated blood twice a year from a ses­sion in Vic­to­ria Hall Camp­bel­town. This year SNBTS states that, ‘with Christ­mas Day fall­ing on what is tra­di­tion­ally one of the strong­est col­lec­tion days of the week, we are ask­ing donors to en­sure they know their blood group and come for­ward so that stocks con­tinue to build’. Lynne Willdigg, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of donor ser­vices, SNBTS, said: ‘There are eight dif­fer­ent blood groups, and we aim to main­tain a five-to­seven-day sup­ply at all times of each one. ‘Our fo­cus as a ser­vice is to en­sure that we con­sis­tently meet clin­i­cal de­mand and to this end we work closely with hos­pi­tals to fore­cast that de­mand. ‘This means that we can pro­vide donors with a greater level of de­tail about how their do­na­tion is needed. ‘For ex­am­ple, O Pos­i­tive is Scot­land’s most com­mon blood group, so we must wel­come 191 peo­ple with this blood group ev­ery day. ‘O Neg­a­tive on the other hand is the only blood group that can safely be given to any­one in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, there­fore, re­quires pro­por­tion­ately a higher level of do­na­tion to the pop­u­la­tion pro­file. ‘This means that ev­ery day we re­quire at least 71 donors of this uni­ver­sal blood group to en­sure ac­ci­dent and emer­gency wards can op­er­ate safely. ‘To keep sup­plies at safe lev­els over­all in Scot­land, we need 470 donors each day and all blood groups are needed to sup­port pa­tients, just some more than oth­ers depend­ing on de­mand. ‘We are ask­ing donors to check their blood group, and make an ex­tra spe­cial ef­fort to at­tend if we write to you or text you. ‘If you’ve never given blood, please come along and donate, and we’ll write to you af­ter­wards to let you know what your blood group is. ‘We would also love to wel­come new donors. Forty­seven per cent of ac­tive donors in Scot­land are age 45 or over, so it is im­por­tant younger peo­ple start giv­ing blood to meet the needs of our ag­ing pop­u­la­tion. ‘As you can start giv­ing blood at age 17, we are reach­ing out to all younger peo­ple to en­cour­age them to think about giv­ing blood now.’ Any­one over the age of 17 in gen­eral good health and

weigh­ing more than 7st 12lbs, could po­ten­tially be­come a blood donor and help to save lives. To regis­ter as a blood donor or to find out where your near­est do­na­tion ses­sion is, call 0845 90 90 999.

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Blood donor Ian Camp­bell in 2016 at Vic­to­ria Hall.

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