Only 4% of the eligible population are registered blood donors. That amasses to 1.3 million of the population and means that the remaining 94% rely on this small portion to donate blood.
National Blood Week managed to recruit 10,000 new and returning donors to register and donate blood, a good percentage of the 200,000 new registered donors that the NHS needs every year in order to keep donor levels stable.
Recognising that a lack of knowledge about the blood donation process may hinder people from donating, the ‘Know Blood, Give Blood’ campaign joined forces with Paramount Pictures in anticipation of the film World War Z to encourage young film-goers to ‘Help Save Humanity’ by registering as blood donors. Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), affirms that “over the last few years we have seen a decline in the numbers of younger people stepping forward to give blood and we are keen to find more creative ways to reach them. Recruiting new donors, in particular young adults, is important to ensuring a healthy donor base and blood supply for the future”.
In addition to this partnership NHSBT also held various recruitment events throughout the UK. With launch events held in London’s Harrow and Tooting on the first Monday of National Blood Week, NHSBT fought to make people aware and encouraged the public to sign up for blood donation. Felicity Hay from NHSBT informs The Positive that these events have certainly served their purpose. “We set out with a target of 10,000 and we have succeeded this target. In fact, we have exceeded this target, showing how successful this week has been and hopefully encouraging people to carry on registering.” Figures expected to be released today are to show how NHSBT have recruited in excess of 10,000 new donators and are continuing to improve and save the lives of those in need.
One family that knows only too well the importance of blood donation is the Hutchings family. Natasha Hutchings of Luton lost three and a half pints of blood, almost half of the body’s blood supply, when she suffered a rupture during an emergency caesarean. Hutchings tells The Positive how “blood transfusions really did save my life. I can’t give blood for six weeks because of the transfusion but will be doing so as soon as I can. I was already suffering with an iron deficiency and so the transfusions were even more vital. I had two transfusions, one pint in each one, and without them I would no doubt have died. It is so important for anyone undergoing major operations, hence why I am going to give blood as soon as I can!” The entire Hutchings family were affected by blood donation with both mother and baby at risk, but blood donation saved their lives while simultaneously helping them grow as a family and inspiring them to save lives in return.
Every unit of blood donated could improve the lives of up to three people.
If you would like to find out more information about where you can donate, please visit this link: