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Health & Fitness Stocks of critical blood type short due to pandemic - appeal for donors to come forward

10:25  25 november  2020
10:25  25 november  2020 Source:   newsletter.co.uk

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The BBC's Fergus Walsh visited a blood donation session in London as the NHS appeals for O negative donors . The NHS Blood and Transplant Service said stocks of O negative have fallen below "preferred levels". O negative is an a key blood type because it can be given safely to patients

Out of the eight blood groups, O negative is the only one 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 the population.

a hand holding an ice cream cone © The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) says donations have dropped significantly dur...

A regular O negative donor who has been getting frequent appeals for donations brought the issue to the attention of the News Letter.

Matt Gillespie, Supply Chain Manager with the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (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.

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The NHS Blood and Transplant service is appealing for people to donate blood this Easter after stocks were left depleted following the recent "We are looking for those donors to come in for the first time, realise that it's something they are quite able to do, and keep coming back on a regular basis.

Learn about blood typing and the rarest and most common types of blood and how they can impact your blood donation . Universal donors are those with an O negative blood type . Why? O negative blood can be used in transfusions for any blood type .

“Three days has been the lowest we have been down to and during covid we have been down to three days on a number of occasions,” he said.

“That is why we have been contacting donors more during the pandemic. We look ahead daily at what is likely to be used and what we predict we will collect based on appointments booked. This allows us to contact donors and make up any shortfall.”

O negative is generally safe to transfuse to any patient no matter what blood group they are. This means that usage of O negative is higher than the percentage of people who are O negative in the general population.

“Only 10% of the population are O negative but it makes up 15% of the blood we issue. This means we always need more O negative donors than just the normal percentage in our donor population.”

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In general, the rarest blood type is AB-negative and the most common is O-positive. Here's a breakdown of the most rare and common blood types by ethnicity, according Type O blood is often in short supply in hospitals, due to demand for this universal donor type , according to the Red Cross.

The NIBTS requires about 800 units of Blood and 160 units of platelets every week to support our five hospital trusts.

However the level of donations have been slashed during the pandemic.

“As to why donations dropped, this was a combination of things, including less availability of blood donation venues due to social distancing restrictions,” Mr Gillespie said. “In addition, some donors may not have known that travelling to donate is classed as essential travel, so we would like to highlight that to people. We may also have been affected by the general ‘avoiding of public places’ that has been seen during the pandemic.”

Mothers giving birth, patients post cancer treatment, emergency surgery and babies in ICU will all still require blood during the pandemic even if other operations are postponed, he said.

Mr Gillespie is appealing for all members of the public to donate blood.

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He suspects having any type of underlying lung disease, like asthma, or other health conditions, like hypertension, might increase the risk of having longer-term lung issues. Continuing impairments can include short -term memory problems and difficulty with learning and executive function.

Medical materials and other goods shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic quickly became a major issue of the pandemic . The matter of pandemic -related shortage has been studied in the past

The NIBTS needs about 6000 new donors every year but was not able to take any during the first lockdown, he said. Therefore it has not recruited enough new donors this year and would like to encourage anyone who has been or would consider becoming a donor to do so.

He also reminded people that travelling to give blood is classed as ‘essential travel’ and that coming to donate is safe, even during a pandemic.

To book an appointment to donate blood call 08085 534 666

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Transplants to double after experts pioneer new 'heart in a box' .
Some 200 patients a year undergo the operation on the NHS, but hundreds more remain on waiting lists and about 20 die each year because of a shortage of available hearts. Now medics at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge have developed a new 'heart in a box' device that helps to keep the organs in better condition after they are retrieved from donors, which could double the number of annual transplants.

usr: 1
This is interesting!