Push for youngsters to give blood

editorial image

Young people are being urged to roll their sleeves up to save lives after figures reveal that around half of blood donors in Derbyshire are over 45-years-old.

NHS Blood and Transplant has revealed the figures to encourage younger people, and those who could donate but no longer do so, to make a commitment to register to give blood during National Blood Week 2013 (June 10-16).

The week is aimed at encouraging people to find out more about blood and blood donation – or to ‘Know Blood, Give Blood’. With seven out of ten 16 to 21-year-olds wanting to know more about the blood donation process before deciding whether to donate, NHS Blood and Transplant hopes that extra knowledge will prompt more people to become donors, ensuring a steady supply of blood for NHS patients.

Holly Mason, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Lead Donor Relations Manager for Derbyshire, said: “We value all of our existing donors, but want to build up our donor base to maintain a steady supply of blood, which has a short shelf life, to help save and improve patient lives. In the last 12 months, a total of 6,739 people from Derbyshire signed up to donate blood, which is fantastic. We want to build on this to ensure we always have the right number of donors of the different blood groups to meet patient needs. For this year’s National Blood Week, we hope the people of Derbyshire will choose to sign up or come back and give blood to help save a life.”

Anyone aged between 17-65, weighing more than 50 kg (7st 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.

While it isn’t possible for NHS Blood and Transplant to collect in every village, town and city in Derbyshire, the teams are never far away. A quick call to the contact centre 0300 123 23 23 or putting your postcode into our website www.blood.co.uk will give people information about the nearest and next sessions in Derbyshire and further afield.