Ur­gent NHS call for male blood donors

Western Daily Press - - News -

THERE is a huge short­age of male blood donors in Glouces­ter­shire – with men sign­ing up at less than half the rate of women.

In Jan­uary 2018, nearly three times as many women be­came new blood donors in the county as men – 177 com­pared to 67.

And now NHS Blood and Trans­plant is urg­ing men to do­nate.

Male donors are ac­tu­ally 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.

Di­rec­tor of blood do­na­tion for NHS Blood and Trans­plant, Mike Stred­der, 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 to treat pa­tients with can­cer.

“We’re in­cred­i­bly grate­ful to all our fe­male donors in Glouces­ter­shire who are vi­tal in pro­vid­ing life-sav­ing 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.”

NHS Blood and Trans­plant added that donors of ev­ery gen­der are en­cour­aged to do­nate – 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.

Men gen­er­ally have higher iron lev­els than women, so are less likely to be de­ferred from do­nat­ing due to low haemoglobin.

Mr Stred­der added: “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.”

NHS Blood and Trans­plant has been analysing donor re­cruit­ment trends and is now work­ing on reach­ing more male po­ten­tial donors.

Fac­tors af­fect­ing male donor re­cruit­ment are thought to in­clude the re­cent greater use of so­cial me­dia cam­paigns, which are more pop­u­lar with women.

There are around 10,700 ac­tive blood donors in Glouces­ter­shire – and al­most 4,300 of these cur­rently give blood at Glouces­ter donor cen­tre on Lon­don Road.

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.

It is quick and easy to make, view and change ap­point­ments by call­ing 0300 123 23 23, us­ing the GiveBlood app, or go­ing on­line at www.blood.co.uk

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