Urgent blood donor appeal

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An urgent appeal for blood donors in South Yorkshire has been issued by NHS Blood and Transplant.

It follows the revelation that 40 per cent fewer people donated blood last year compared to a decade ago.

Jon Latham, of NHS Blood and Transplant, which is calling for people to step up and replenish the area’s blood stocks, said: “We would need 204,000 new volunteers to come forward this year across England and North Wales to keep blood stocks at a safe level for the future.

“A total of 21,742 people living in South Yorkshire donated blood at least once last year, but only 23 per 1,000 people in the region donate regularly.

“Regular donations are crucial to saving and improving the lives of patients with cancer, blood disorders and those suffering trauma or undergoing surgery.”

Celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Claudia Winkleman have been working to promote blood donation, ahead of World Blood Donor Day on Sunday, removing the letters A, O and B - the letters that make up the blood groups - from their names, raising awareness of the need for new blood donors with all blood types.

The ‘Missing Type’ campaign says if not enough new people donate blood and the ‘types’ go missing in years to come, there won’t be enough blood available.

Jon added: “We know that people’s lives have got busier over the last decade, but we can’t ignore the stark reduction in new donors coming forward - a trend seen across the world. “While we can meet the needs of patients now, it’s important we strengthen the donor base for the future. If we don’t attract new people across England and North Wales to donate it will put more pressure on the ability to provide the right type of blood the NHS needs for patients in the future.”

Visit www.blood.co.uk if you can help.