Scottish Blood Transfusion Service looking for new donors over festive season

National Blood Transfusion Service looking for new donors over festive season <i>(Image: National Blood Transfusion Service)</i>
National Blood Transfusion Service looking for new donors over festive season (Image: National Blood Transfusion Service)

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is looking for new donors over the festive season.

The service is also asking people to return to donate blood if they have not given in a while.

Currently, in Scotland there are 96,726 donors, but 31,435 of these have not given a donation so far in 2022.

Dr Sylvia Armstrong-Fisher of the SNBTS said: “The donor base in Scotland has 96,726 active blood donors, and we are grateful to them. We can see lots of donors, who were so committed during the pandemic, may now have got out of the habit.

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“We are asking people to book an appointment at your local donor centre, or one of the many community sessions across the country.

“Blood donors have an essential part to play in supporting NHS Scotland this winter. Every week, in December, we aim to welcome 3,411 donors. We would like to welcome more group bookings – giving blood with friends, colleagues, or your club is a very valuable thing to do.

“We are delighted over 30 companies in Scotland have organised group bookings as part of their corporate blood collection programme. Please consider signing up to join them.”

A couple, who were only identified as Stephanie, 36, and Kenny, 38, from Ayrshire, have thanked donors for when they helped their daughter when she was born prematurely in October 2021.

Stephanie says: “Hannah was born with haemolytic disease. She needed lots of treatment, and part of this treatment was receiving two full blood exchanges, and four top-up transfusions in the weeks after she was born. We can’t be more grateful for the donors that made this possible and have allowed Hannah to lead a healthy life.”

Kenny added: “I work for Barclays in Glasgow, and I am proud my workplace is Glasgow Donor Centre’s biggest corporate supporter – 71 of my colleagues gave blood at Glasgow donor centre last week. As each donation can be split into three separate parts (red cells, platelets and plasma), this means my Barclays colleagues have saved or improved the lives of up to 213 patients in Scotland.

“I know SNBTS are looking for more companies to join this initiative, and I hope seeing the difference blood donors have made to my family can motivate many more companies to participate.”

New changes have been made to blood collection, making it as easy as possible for donors, the SNBTS offer sessions by appointment, and 88% of new donors have already registered an online donor account. Weekend and evening donations are also available.

Sylvia added: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority. The need for blood does not take a rest, and we will be collecting blood on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and Hogmanay.

“We are asking people to take time out of their busy schedules one these dates in particular. Thank you to everyone who has supported patients in Scotland in 2022. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”