Urgent appeal for more regular blood donors

by Rachel Cunningham
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The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has made a national callout for donations as some blood types have dwindled to just three days supply in recent weeks, writes Rachel Cunningham.

The IBTS, which aims to have seven-day stock at all times, is asking the public with negative blood types (O-, A- or B-) in particular to make an appointment with their local clinics and begin the process of becoming regular donors.

High demand from hospitals, an increase in illness among donors in communities and recent adverse weather conditions have all combined to create a shortage of blood, particularly in the Rh Negative groups. 

 “The IBTS is urging regular donors to respond when they receive a text from us and to make an appointment, said Paul McKinney, Director of Donor Services and Logistics. 

“A pre-amber alert has been issued in line with the National Blood Shortage Plan for the Rh- Negative blood groups, which requests conservative use of blood by all hospitals.  

“All donations are needed to avoid any impact on our hospital system.

“We are asking our regular donors to make an extra effort to book an appointment and donors in Dublin to consider booking an appointment at our fixed centre in D’Olier street.”

The IBTS needs to collect over 3,000 units of blood every week to maintain the national blood supply.

Just three per cent of the eligible population are blood donors but it is estimated that one in four people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives

Approximately eight per cent of these donors are O negative. However, as this blood can be transfused to patients of all groups, it requires more frequent calls from donors of this group. 

Regular donors can book an appointment online at www.giveblood.ie or phone 1800 731 137.   F

Further clinic information can also be found on the website and anybody interested in becoming a new donor can register their interest on www.giveblood.ie Become a Donor.

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