Norwich residents urged to give blood as the festive season draws closer

PUBLISHED: 14:41 12 December 2017

First time blood donor Peter Raven being prepared at a session at Carrow Road.  Photo: Bill Smith

First time blood donor Peter Raven being prepared at a session at Carrow Road. Photo: Bill Smith

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People in Norwich are being urged to give blood this December to ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over the festive season.

First time blood donor Peter Raven with Dawn Walker at the session at Carrow Road.  Photo: Bill SmithFirst time blood donor Peter Raven with Dawn Walker at the session at Carrow Road. Photo: Bill Smith

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking donors in the city to book an appointment to donate before Christmas if they haven’t already done so, and to keep their appointment if they have already made one.

Donors who need to cancel their appointment are being asked to give at least three days’ notice so the slot can be opened up to someone else.

On Tuesday, November 28 there were 160 un-booked appointment slots at blood donor sessions in Norwich during December.

It is estimated that around 6,000 donations are needed every day to treat patients across the country and 200,000 new donors are needed every year, to replace those no longer able donate.

Demand for lifesaving blood does not stop for Christmas. Many children and adults will need transfusions over the festive period as treatment for a blood condition or cancer, or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.

All blood groups are being asked to make and keep their 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.

It is also important to 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.

Amy Rowley, head of donor marketing operations for Norwich, said: “Blood stock levels can dip over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood can slip off to-do lists.

“But we need our loyal donors in Norwich more than ever at this time of year to help us meet increased demand from hospitals for lifesaving blood over the festive period.

“Please make and keep a date to donate in December. If you need to cancel, please give us at least three days’ notice so we can open up the appointment to another donor. It’s quick and easy to make, view and change appointments at or via our mobile phone app.”

Nearly 1,000 people signed up to donate blood after the EDP and Evening News ran a campaign in 2012 called New Blood to recruit more volunteers. David Powles, editor of the EDP and Evening News, is on his 16th donation. He said: “I mainly do it for the free chocolate biscuits. But other than that it really is such an easy thing to do, pretty much pain free and something which can make such a difference.”

Danielle Booden, said: “One day it may be one of my family members or even me relying on someone else’s donation, so it seems only fair that I also do my bit and donate as frequently as possible. Not only that but it’s helping me to overcome my fear of needles.

Taz Ali, said: “ It’s easy to register and relatively painless. I like that I could be potentially saving somebody’s life and all I had to do was sign up, turn up to the appointment, watch the latest episode of South Park while giving blood, then go home and book another appointment.

Ian Clarke, head of news at the EDP and Evening News, said: “Giving blood really does save lives. I’ve now given 45 pints of blood and it’s really simple to do - and makes such a difference to those in need. If you can donate but don’t, please give it a go.”

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