Appeal for new blood donors

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Blood donors in Doncaster who are O Rh negative (O-) are being asked to come forward to give blood now following the festive period.

NHS Blood and Transport are warning that stocks often dip around holiday time as people get distracted and are often unable to attend their sessions.

In addition, the recent outbreak of norovirus has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people correctly cancelling their appointments.

Non-attendance by O-neg donors increased by 50 per cent just before the New Year.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We would like to urge all O- donors to walk into their most convenient donor session to give blood to help rebuild stock levels.

“We are always grateful to donors who respond to calls such as this and appreciate that in doing so they do give up some of their precious time.

“Waiting times may vary in the next few days as we try to accommodate all donors.

“Demand for blood never stops and O- donors can help to ensure healthy blood stocks in the upcoming weeks, by giving blood now and in the next few days.”

Donors with blood group O- negative are commonly known as the ‘universal donor’ as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group.

This can prove vital in an emergency situation where there may not be time for an immediate blood group testing to be carried out.

Approximately 7 per cent of the population have this blood group.

Anyone aged between 17-65, weighing more than seven stone 12lbs and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor.

There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

For more information, to book an appointment or to find a local blood donor session please call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk