HEALTHY LIVING: Appeal for blood donors

A blood donation session.
A blood donation session.
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SOUTH Yorkshire residents who belong to a particular blood group are being urged to make donations to replenish stocks following the festive period.

People in the O negative group are being asked to visit their nearest donor centre, as the NHS says blood stocks have dipped over Christmas time due to seasonal commitments and the recent norovirus outbreak.

Nationally, non-attendance soared by 50 per cent at the end of 2012, according to health service figures.

Individuals with O negative blood are commonly known as the ‘universal donor’ as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group.

This can prove vital in emergencies where there may not be time for an immediate blood group testing to be carried out. Around seven per cent of the population have this blood group.

Jon Latham, assistant director of marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We would like to urge all O negative donors to walk into their most convenient donor session to give blood to help rebuild stock levels. We are always grateful to donors who respond to calls such as this and appreciate that in doing so they do give up some of their precious time.

“Waiting times may vary as we try to accommodate all donors, but demand for blood never stops and O negative donors can help to ensure healthy stocks in the coming weeks by giving blood now.”

Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg and in general good health, can become a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for people who have donated in the last two years.

For more information, to book an appointment or find a local donor session visit www.blood.co.uk or call 03001232323.