Keep your blood donor appointments this Easter

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The people of South Yorkshire are being reminded to keep their blood donor appointments over the busy Easter holiday period.

6000 units of blood are needed by hospitals across England and North Wales every day to treat patients in a variety of life-saving procedures. Red cells last for only 35 days, while the shelf life of platelets, a clotting factor used to help treat patients with leukaemia and cancer, is even shorter at just seven days.

Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant in Rotherham, said: “We rely on our loyal donors to help us make sure that vital supplies of blood are available for patients when they need it.

“If you have an appointment in March, please keep it, especially if your blood group is O- negative or A- negative. People are often busy around Easter and the school holidays, so NHS Blood and Transplant is asking blood donors who find they can’t keep their appointments, to please let us know as soon as possible, so we can make the appointment available to someone else.

“We also welcome new donors in the area and if you’ve never given blood before, now is a good time to start. It’s easy to sign up online and book an appointment.”

To donate blood for the first time you need to be aged between 17 and 66. First you need to register, either online at www.blood.co.uk or by calling the 24 hour donor helpline on 0300 123 2323.

Once registered, book an appointment for your nearest blood donor session and then come along and make your first donation.

It is also easy for donors to book appointments through mobile apps for Windows, Android and Apple devices. To download the app, search ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store.