Blood donors helped save the life of three year old Sheffield boy

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NHS Blood and Transplant is urging donors in the city to make and keep appointments to donate blood this month, to ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over the festive season.

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging donors in the city to make and keep appointments to donate blood this month, to ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over the festive season. Sheffield Donor Centre, Cathedral Court, Church Street, Sheffield S1 2GN is open Monday to Friday.

There is demand for lifesaving blood and platelets 365 days a year, this doesn’t stop for Christmas. Many children and adults will need transfusions over the festive period, for example as treatment for a blood condition or cancer or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.

With the winter weather, rise in colds and bugs, travelling and people getting busy, giving blood and platelets can slip off to-do lists. Around a third of appointments remain unbooked in December*. Over the festive season around 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed**. It’s really important that donors who can give blood and platelets do so, please make and keep an appointment.

If you are unable to make your appointment please let us know, with seven days notice if possible, so that we can book another blood donor in. In December the number of appointments cancelled by donors, within three days of the session, rises by nearly a third***.

Tiffin Ridge, aged three, is one patient who has received blood to be well this Christmas. He was given blood as a newborn baby to save his life. Regular transfusions stabilised his condition, meaning he is here to celebrate this Christmas. Tiffin, from Wadsley in Sheffield, was delivered by emergency caesarean at 33 weeks after a scan revealed he was very anaemic. He needed blood immediately to survive. All his blood was replaced and he received weekly blood and platelet transfusions for months due to an undiagnosed condition. Without the blood he received Tiffin would not be here to see get excited about Father Christmas coming.

Mum Rebekah says: “Tiffin would not be alive today if it wasn’t for all the blood transfusions he received.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has donated blood and platelets, he is such a special little boy who has developed so well even though there wasn’t much hope of him being able to reach his milestones.

“I am so in awe of anyone who has taken the time out to give their blood. The procedure is more than worth it to save someone’s life.”

All blood groups are being asked to make and keep their lifesaving appointment in the run up to and over Christmas, but vulnerable groups like O negative, B negative and A negative platelets are particularly important. If you are one of these blood groups please try your best to keep your appointment. If you can’t please let us know as soon as possible.

It’s also important we get donations from across the country’s diverse population, as some disorders are more common in certain ethnic backgrounds and patients need to receive well matched blood. Donors from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match.

The top ten reasons to give blood up to and over Christmas are:

Patients need blood 365 days a year

Missed appointment are higher in December and early January

Shopping, parties and catching-up with friends and family can get in the way in donating

The rise in bugs and colds prevents more people from donating

Travelling over the festive period can get in the way of donating

Bad weather puts-off people from going to a donation session

Hospitals ask for more blood in the run up to Christmas and New Year

Every week, we need to replace the nation’s entire red cell stock

We have to replace the national supply of platelets every few days

Stocks of rare blood groups and platelets are most likely to fall over Christmas and New Year

Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We need our amazing donors in Sheffield more than ever at this time of year.

“If you make and keep an appointment this December you will be saving and improving lives over the festive season – can you think of a better gift to give?

“Please make a date to donate now. If you cannot make your appointment to give blood, please let us know as soon as possible.”

Red blood cells only have a shelf life of 35 days, and platelets, tiny cells in the blood which enable clotting, only have a shelf life of seven days. Every week the entire red cell stock needs replacing and the national supply of platelets needs replenishing every few days. NHS Blood and Transplant needs people to continue donating over the holiday period to renew stocks and meet demand from hospitals treating seriously ill patients.

Sheffield Donor Centre, Cathedral Court, Church Street, Sheffield S1 2GN is open Monday to Friday.

To book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, use an NHS Give Blood app or contact us on 0300 123 23 23. If you are not able to make an appointment, please let us know with seven days notice so that another donor can donate.