Blood donations jump following urgent appeal in News Letter

The NI Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) says that there has been a dramatic increase in blood donations after the News Letter highlighted how lockdown had decimated stocks.

The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) said donations had dropped significantly during the pandemic and was appealing for donors to come forward.
The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) said donations had dropped significantly during the pandemic and was appealing for donors to come forward.

Just over a week ago the News Letter carried an appeal from NIBTS for fresh blood donors, after it emerged that the pandemic has left it persistently short of the most vital blood type for emergency situations.

O negative is the only type which can be safely given to anyone in an emergency without checking a patient’s blood type first. However it is also the rarest, being produced by only 10% of people.

Matt Gillespie, Supply Chain Manager with the NIBTS, said that in normal times they hold five days supply of O negative, but that they have repeatedly been down to three days during the pandemic.

Matt Gillespie, Supply Chain Manager with the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, says blood donation has been seriously hit by the pandemic.

Yesterday he said there had been a jump in donors.

“Thanks for your help with the story about low blood stocks last week,” he said. “I thought you would like to know we are up from last week’s low of three days stock of O negative to six days. We usually try to aim for five days so that is us back to where we like to be. We will be sending out a big thank you to our donors through our social media. Thanks for your help with this.”

He believes the News Letter coverage “definitely would have helped - as you know it’s difficult to reach new people.”

“I would also like to thanks our regular donors, they really are an extraordinary bunch of people who have continued to donate right throughout this pandemic. Their generous gift has saved and improved the lives of patients during the pandemic.”

To donate blood call 08085 534 666

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