How YOU can become a blood donor hero and help keep little Eddie and the others alive

The NHS is short of 75,000 regular donors and blood stocks are replenished by the smallest pool in the 21st century now that demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels

Toddler Eddie Griffin has a rare condition and needs a blood transfusion every month

As hospitals desperately try to catch up with a huge backlog of cases caused by the lockdowns, the demand for blood is once again skyrocketing.

And the Mirror is today calling on readers to help out with the aim of saving lives by becoming a donor hero.

The NHS is short of 75,000 regular donors and stocks are now replenished by the smallest pool in the 21st century as demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Helen Duggan, Director of NHS Blood and Transplant Campaigns, said: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority.

“During the most critical time of the pandemic, this was achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors, the smallest for 25 years.

As hospitals catch up on routine care, we face a critical crossroads to meet the increased demand for blood and call on new donors to come forward and join this incredible group of people saving lives. lives.







The NHS lacks regular donors
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Picture:

Mark Waugh (Manchester Press Photography Ltd)


“We need 450 new donors every day to meet patient needs.

“Please join this amazing club today and make an appointment to be part of the NHS recovery.”

About 750,000 selfless donors kept hospitals supplied at the height of the Covid crisis, but that was 40,000 less than the previous year. The NHS could cope at the time as non-emergency operations had been halted in England, leading to a 27% drop in demand for blood. It also means that donations have dropped by 21%.

Now the hospital waiting list has reached six million and continues to grow as patients present with untreated conditions during the shutdowns. Many need transfusions.

Donors keep the health service afloat by donating blood for everything from childbirth to emergency surgery and keeping alive those suffering from a host of inherited diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

There is an urgent need for donors of the Ro blood subgroup, which is 10 times more common in blacks than in whites.

Sickle cell disease mainly affects Afro-Caribbean patients. It is more important that the blood of the sick is ethnically matched because they receive it in such large quantities. Only 2% of current donors have Ro blood.

Many of the 15,000 people with sickle cell disease in England need regular transfusions or blood exchanges as often as every four weeks to help prevent the distressing symptoms that can culminate in a fatal stroke.

A large number of transfusions are performed in emergency situations when there is not enough time to match the blood to the type of the patient. There is therefore also an urgent need for more O-negative donors.

Known as the universal blood group, it can be administered to most patients.







Hospitals need 450 new donors every day to meet patient needs
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Picture:

Getty Images)


A typical donation lasting over an hour can save or improve up to three lives.

The existing army of regular donors that the NHS relied on at the height of the pandemic are known to produce successful giving.

Limiting numbers also made it possible to make the most of available space while clinics adhered to social distancing guidelines.

Some members of this group stop giving daily for a number of reasons, including health, a lifestyle change, or not wanting to continue.

This led the number of active donors to decline last year to its lowest level since 1996.

Tomorrow, we reveal the life-changing impact new blood can have on people living with sickle cell disease – and take up the challenge to recruit more black donors.







A typical donation of more than one hour can save or improve up to three lives
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Picture:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)


The one-year-old who needs blood every month to stay alive

Little Eddie Griffin has a rare disease and needs a blood transfusion every month to keep him alive.

He suffers from Diamond Blackfan anemia, which means his body cannot produce red blood cells.

At just 11 weeks, Eddie stopped eating well and started sleeping most of the day.

He was admitted to hospital where his hemoglobin level was found to be so low that he
he needed an emergency transfusion.

Genetic testing confirmed a diagnosis of DBA.

Eddie, who turned one in December, is now surviving on regular transfusions at Leeds General Infirmary and the transformation in him is almost instantaneous. Mum Charlotte, 32, said: ‘In the days leading up to a transfusion, Eddie can get grumpy and tired. The change once he has blood is remarkable – the color returns to his face and he is eager to leave.

Register as a blood donor today and play your part in the recovery of the NHS.

Patients need blood all year round and the NHS must ensure a regular supply.

In some parts of the country, appointments for first donors are limited. If you don’t find a niche right away, please do a search a few weeks or months in advance.

Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to sign up and start saving lives.

“Amazingly, every time Eddie gets blood he learns a new skill. When he first learned to walk and sit, both were immediately after a transfusion.

Eddie lives with marketing manager mum Charlotte and dad, accountant Anthony, 31, in Burnley, Lancs, and receives just under a unit of blood every three to four weeks.

Charlotte added: “DBA is an integral part of our lives, but it’s only a tiny part of who Eddie is.

“Some people say they’re sorry for Eddie’s condition, but any sympathy is misplaced. Eddie is thriving, he’s happy.

“Thanks to donors, its future is bright. To everyone who donates blood, I would say thank you. You are heroes.

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