During National Blood Week last month, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT ) issued a call for 10,000 people across England and North Wales to make a date to donate, after new data showed there had been a 20 per cent drop in young regular donors over the last decade raising concerns for the stability of blood stocks in the future.
Despite a significant increase in the number of new registrations among young people in the North West, among existing donor, 40-54 year olds are still responsible for giving the most blood. From 13 to the 26 June, 3,978 existing donors aged 40-54 made appointments to donate, compared to 2,058 from the 17–29 age bracket.
Saimina Virmani from Blackburn is just one of the many people whose life has been saved thanks to people donating blood. Saimina has been a vocal supporter of blood donation following a difficult labour, during which she had to undergo several blood transfusions.
She said "I lost so much blood during my labour that I was only able to hold my daughter Eliza for about 60 seconds before I was rushed into the operating theatre where I was given two pints of blood. Put simply, if I had not had the transfusions, I would have died.
"Giving blood is one of the most altruistic things a person can do. Each pint of blood could potentially save the lives of the three adults or seven babies. Donated blood is needed every three seconds and it only takes a few minutes of your time to give blood."
Barbara Blanche, NHSBT Lead Donor Relation Manager, North West comments: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to our National Blood Week campaign and would like to thank all of the first time and regular donors in the North West who made a ‘date to donate’, a simple act that will help to save and improve many lives.
“However, to maintain national blood stocks, we need over 177,000 donations and 24,000 new donors every year in the North West alone - and there is a lack of regular young donors. We therefore urge the younger generation to make a date to donate and become life savers of the future.”
There are daily blood donor clinics (by appointment) at the RLI and regular sessions around the area.
For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, or call 0300 123 2323.
You can also follow NHSBT at http://www.facebook.com/NHSBlood or www.twitter.com/NHSGiveBlood.