New Oxfordshire donors wanted in biggest blood donor recruitment drive ever

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A person who gives blood. Image: Getty Images / iStockphoto

Submitted by the NHS Blood and Transplant

Oxfordshire residents are urged to join a growing club of new donors stepping forward to help the NHS recover this winter, as 8,227 fewer donors in south-east England are revealed to have donated blood at the height of the pandemic.

Around 4,378 dedicated donors regularly donated to the Oxford Blood Donor Center in Headington, Oxfordshire last year, up from 4,486 the year before.

Until recently, the NHS intentionally relied on existing donors to fill the majority of appointments throughout the pandemic as they are much more likely to donate successfully – a vital step to make every donation count while social distancing reduced the space available on the chair.

This meant that fewer appointments were available for new donors. Along with the natural life cycle of blood donors who retire every day, this has led the active donor community to shrink last year to its lowest level since 1996.

Now, as life is returning to normal and with fewer people donating regularly, the NHS needs new blood donors to play a crucial role in her recovery. An unprecedented 100,000 new donors are needed to register and donate by spring to complete the largest annual recruiting drive ever and join the incredible 67,000 new donors who have already joined the club this year. year.

New donors are needed at the Oxford Blood Donor Center, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9BQ. Approximately 1,000 more appointments were added to the Donor Center in November to make it even easier to book your first donation.

There is a particular need to recruit more black donors to help treat patients with sickle cell anemia, which is the fastest growing genetic blood disease in the UK and primarily affects blacks where ethnically compatible blood is essential for the treatment.

New donors are also needed with O negative blood, which is the universal type and is often used for medical emergencies – 45 percent of new donors are likely to have O positive or O negative blood.

These new donors will fill in the gaps left by those who withdrew from donating blood during the pandemic – which may be due to a number of reasons, including health, a change in lifestyle, or simply not being able to donate blood. want to keep giving – to help meet a return to normalcy. demand for blood and will ensure the overall size and blood group composition of donors in the future to maintain the services.

Demand for blood has now returned to pre-pandemic levels and could increase over the next few months as hospitals continue to catch up with delayed activity.

Helen Duggan, deputy director of donation campaigns at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority. During the most critical period of the pandemic, this was achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors.

“As hospitals catch up on routine care, we face a critical crossroads in meeting the increased demand for blood and call on new donors from Oxfordshire to step forward and join this group incredible number of people saving lives.

Become a blood donor. Register today and book an appointment online, download the GiveBloodNHS app or call 0300 123 23 23.

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