Christmas is not far off now and for most people attention turns, if it hasn’t already, to spending time with family and friends, and the giving and receiving of presents. However, people across Lincolnshire are being asked to give blood over the festive season too.
Blood stocks vary across the year but tend to dip from mid-December to early January, not helped by the usual winter ailments doing the rounds making it impossible for some donors to donate. For those of us fortunate enough to escape the coughs and colds our attention is likely to be on the more usual Christmas activities, not donating blood.
“And this is what needs to change if we are to address the festive drop in blood stocks,” comments Dr Kevin Hill, GP and Chair, South Lincolnshire CCG. “We’re not saying don’t do the usual Christmas things, but we are asking people who are well and able to donate blood if they can.
“All blood groups are important but nationally we particularly need O-negative, B-negative and A-negative donors to give blood, as well as those people with rare blood types. It’s impossible to understate the importance of blood donation to those patients who need lifesaving blood over the festive period and all year-round, so please make and keep a date to donate.”
In addition, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking its blood donors to encourage their friends to donate in 2019.
“People who regularly give blood are aware of the importance of their contribution, but overall just three percent of the eligible population give blood, which means we don’t always have enough new donors coming forwards to provide the right types of blood to match patients’ needs and to replace those people who can’t donate anymore. So perhaps it could be a New Year’s resolution to give blood, plus don’t’ forget to encourage your friends to donate too,” adds Dr Hill.
In addition to local centres where you can donate blood, NHS Blood and Transplant has 23 permanent donor centres – visit www.blood.co.uk to find out more.