BLOOD donors are being reminded that blood is needed all year round, especially at Christmas.
NHS Blood and Transplant is urging donors to make and keep appointments to donate blood this month, to ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients over the festive season.
There is demand for lifesaving blood and platelets 365 days a year – and this doesn’t stop for Christmas.
With the winter weather, rise in colds and bugs, travelling and people getting busy, giving blood and platelets can slip off to-do lists. Around a third of appointments remain unbooked in December, while around 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, added: “We need our amazing donors more than ever at this time of year.
“If you make and keep an appointment this December you will be saving and improving lives over the festive season – can you think of a better gift to give?
“Please make a date to donate now. If you cannot make your appointment to give blood, please let us know as soon as possible.”
Red blood cells only have a shelf life of 35 days, and platelets, tiny cells in the blood which enable clotting, only have a shelf life of seven days.
Every week the entire red cell stock needs replacing and the national supply of platelets needs replenishing every few days.
NHS Blood and Transplant needs people to continue donating over the holiday period to renew stocks and meet demand from hospitals treating seriously ill patients.
To book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, use an NHS Give Blood app or contact us on 0300 123 23 23. If you are not able to make an appointment, please let us know with seven days notice so that another donor can donate.