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18 December 2017

Papworth Hospital urges people in Cambridgeshire to give blood this December

Papworth Hospital is urging people to give blood this December to ensure blood stocks stay healthy over Christmas.

The hospital is supporting NHS Blood and Transplant’s call to blood donors in Cambridgeshire to make and keep a date to donate in the run up to Christmas. Donors who need to cancel are asked to give three days’ notice so the slot can be opened up to someone else.

Demand for lifesaving blood doesn’t stop for Christmas. Last year patients at Papworth Hospital received 419 units of lifesaving blood during December.*

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.

A spokesperson for Papworth Hospital said: “Many patients depend on lifesaving blood over Christmas, yet nationally blood stock levels can dip over the festive period as shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood can slip off to-do lists.

“By making and keeping an appointment to give blood this December you are helping to make sure Papworth Hospital and other hospitals can continue to treat patients over the busy festive season.”

All blood groups are being asked to make and keep their lifesaving appointment in the run up to and over Christmas, but vulnerable groups like O negative, B negative and A negative platelets are particularly important.

It’s 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. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to have matching blood types.

Amy Rowley, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Head of Donor Marketing Operations for the region, said: “We are really grateful for the support of Papworth Hospital as we need our loyal donors in Cambridgeshire more than ever at this time of year to help us meet increased demand 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 www.blood.co.uk or via our mobile phone app.”

The top 10 reasons to give blood up to and over Christmas are:
  1. Patients need blood 365 days a year
  2. Missed appointments are higher in December and early January  
  3. Shopping, parties and catching-up with friends and family can get in the way in donating
  4. The rise in bugs and colds prevents more people from donating
  5. Travelling over the festive period can get in the way of donating
  6. Bad weather puts off people from going to a donation session
  7. Hospitals ask for more blood in the run up to Christmas and New Year
  8. Every week, we need to replace the nation’s entire red cell stock
  9. We have to replace the national supply of platelets every few days
  10. Stocks of rare blood groups and platelets are most likely to fall over Christmas and New Year
Blood is collected and distributed on a regional and national basis. Blood collected in one region is not necessarily sent to hospitals in that region.
  • Make and keep your appointment to donate in Cambridgeshire by calling the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk
  • It is also easy to book through mobile apps for Windows, Android and Apple devices. To download the app, search ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store.
*NHS Blood and Transplant issued 419 units to Papworth Hospital during December 2016.