Support people who need blood

Local GPs are asking people to be a hero and give blood as stocks are running low.

According to the NHS blood donor agency NHS Blood and Transplant, current blood supplies are at a low of 46,000 units from a high of 60,000 units in April.

Every blood donation saves or improves the life of at least three people. That could be your own life as approximately 25% of people need blood at least once in their life.

The NHS needs as many people as possible to give blood so there is a good supply both in total number of units and of all the different blood types. Currently, just four per cent of adults in the UK regularly give blood.

Maintaining a healthy blood supply is vital for hospitals because blood can only be stored for a short period of time. Red blood cells can be stored for 35 days and platelets, part of the blood that helps to prevent excessive bleeding, can only be stored for seven days. It’s important for people who have never donated, to give.

Dr Sam Everington, chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP said:

“If you give blood, you could save someone’s life – it really is that simple and it’s not difficult to do.

“The NHS is running low of blood at the moment so be a hero and give blood.

“Many people need blood at least once in their lives so it might be your own life you are saving.”

People aged 17 to 65 who are in good health can give blood. A donor carer will talk you through the process, ask questions about your health and administer a finger prick test to make sure you have enough iron in your blood.

It’s important to drink plenty of water, to keep hydrated and eat properly before you donate.

A donation lasts between 5-10 minutes. After giving blood it is essential to relax for 15 minutes, keep hydrated and apply pressure to your arm. If you feel unwell after giving blood, please seek medical advice.

Every blood donation saves or improves the lives of up to three people.

To donate, visit www.blood.co.uk/giving-blood or call 0300 123 23 23.