Blood donors urged to sign up to for interval study

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blood donors in Sheffield are being asked to volunteer for a study which could lead to a reduction in the length of time required between donations.

The Sheffield Blood Centre, Church Street, the city centre, needs more than 3,000 people to help with the research, which will look at the interval regular donors currently need to wait after giving blood.

Results will be examined to see if the waiting time can be more tailored to suit people’s age, weight, diet and other factors, such as inherited conditions.

Julie Taylor, a donor care supervisor at the centre, was the first person to sign up to the study in Sheffield.

The 51-year-old, from Woodseats, said: “I hope it will make a difference, because many of our donors have often said they would like to donate more often, but up until now have not had the opportunity.

“I also think asking donors to donate more frequently will make them feel even more valued.

“I’m also keen myself to donate as frequently as possible due to the fact my own father has been a recipient, which saved his life.”

Men taking part will be asked to donate at intervals of eight, 10 or 12 weeks, and women at 12, 14 and 16-week intervals over a period of two years.

Blood samples will be collected at the start and end of the trial and donors will then be monitored throughout the study via an online questionnaire.

There will also be online tests of mental function and, for some donors, levels of physical activity.

Anyone wishing to take part in the study must be able to give blood, aged 18 or over and have access to the internet with a valid email address.

The research is being run by Cambridge and Oxford Universities, together with NHS Blood and Transplant.

Findings are expected in three years’ time.

To book an appointment for a donation, call 0300 123 2323.