PEOPLE in Northwich and Winsford are being urged to help give the gift of life – by donating blood.
The number of donors in the UK has been falling steadily in the last decade.
Donations to the National Blood Service (NBS) fell by 10% last month, and the NBS is desperate to redress the balance.
Hospitals in Cheshire need more than 400 units of blood every week in order to provide life-saving and life- improving treatments. They are appealing for regular donors and first-timers to head along to Northwich Memorial Hall on February 3.
Cathy Davies of the NBS said people can make a real difference by giving up an hour of their time – and enabling others to undergo blood transfusions.
“Blood is a vital resource, not just in emergency situations but also for patients who need regular blood transfusions, such as those undergoing treatment for cancer and leukaemia,” she said.
“In a recent survey, more than a third of people said they knew someone who had received blood and one-in-10 have received blood themselves. Despite this, only 4% of the eligible population are donors.
“This is a particularly challenging time for the service as it follows two weeks of reduced collection opportunities over Christmas.
“We’re continuing to meet local hospital demand for blood but our reserve stocks are currently below what we’d like them to be.
“The seasonal viruses that have hit people hard this year also mean that some of our regular donors are ill and unable to donate.”
She added: “I’d like to ask everyone to give an hour of their time to come and donate. Remember, you never know when someone you love could need a transfusion.”
Edna Garnett, 92, needed blood transfusions when she was admitted to Leighton Hospital after a nasty fall.
She said: “I was a blood donor myself for many years so I know how important it is.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone who has found an hour at such a busy time of year to donate and help others.”
THE National Blood Service collects about two million units of blood each year from 1.3 million blood donors.
The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily.
Only 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors.
A unit of blood is measured as 470ml, just less than a pint.
Whole blood donors can give every 16 weeks – that’s three times per year.
Regular blood donors can keep giving up until the age of 70.
There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand.
A regular supply of blood is vital – red cells last only 35 days and platelets only five days.
BLOOD DONOR SESSIONS
NORTHWICH MEMORIAL HALL
Feb 3: 9.30am-noon and 1.30pm-4pm.
Feb 5: 1.30pm-4pm and 5.30pm-7.45pm
Feb 19: 1.30pm-4pm and 5.30pm-7.45pm
WINSFORD CIVIC HALL
March 22: 9.30pm-noon and 1.30pm-3.45pm