AN urgent appeal has been issued for O negative blood donors.
NHS Blood and Transplant says that while hospitals increased their stocks of blood to cover the extended holiday period, there has been a higher demand than usual.
In addition, the recent outbreak of norovirus has led to regular donors cancelling their appointments to give blood due to illness.
People with blood group O- are commonly referred to as ‘the universal donor’ because their blood can be given to patients with a different group.
Donated blood is used in emergencies, for patients undergoing surgery and those receiving treatment for cancer or blood diseases.
Assistant Director of Marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant Jon Latham 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.”
Blood donors can be anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health. There is no upper age limit for people who have donated in the last two years.
For more information or to book an appointment call 0300 123 2323, or visit www.blood.co.uk