The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) launch Blood Donor Week today (10 June), leading up to World Blood Donor Day celebrations on 14 June.
As blood supplies can drop by up to 20% over the busy summer holiday period, SNBTS is asking everyone to know their blood group and regularly monitor bloodstocks on our Scotblood website so they can ensure they donate should supplies of their group drop below desired levels.
During the summer period, SNBTS require 458 people to give blood every day. There are eight different blood groups, and SNBTS is currently asking people with the blood group A Positive (A+) to make an extra special effort to donate.
Lynne Willdigg, Associate Director of Donor and Transport Services, SNBTS, says:
"Blood Donor Week is a unique opportunity for us to thank the blood donors of Scotland, and we are looking forward to celebrating World Blood Donor Day on Friday 14 June. Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) and the event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. In Scotland we are thankful to all our blood and platelet donors who ensure patients will always receive the right blood product at the right time."
In Scotland we are thankful to all our blood and platelet donors, who ensure patients will always receive the right blood product at the right time.
Lynne Willdigg, Associate Director SNBTS
"There are eight different blood groups, and we aim to maintain a five to seven day supply of each one at all times. Our focus is to ensure that we consistently meet patient needs, and to this end we work closely with hospitals to forecast that demand. This means that we can provide donors with a greater level of detail about how their donation is needed. For example, A+ is Scotland's second most common blood group, so we must welcome 121 donors with this blood group every day. Currently, A+ is sitting at four days supply, so it is just below the desired level of five days. This is why we are asking A+ donors to come forward now and ensure supplies remain at healthy levels throughout the summer period. O Negative (O-) on the other hand is the only blood group that can safely be given to anyone in an emergency situation and every day we require at least 66 donors of this universal blood group to ensure A&E wards can operate safely.
"We would also love to welcome new donors. 47% of active donors in Scotland are age 45 or over, so it is important younger people start giving blood to meet the needs of our aging population. As you can start giving blood at age 17, we are reaching out to all younger people to encourage them to think about giving blood now."
Supporting SNBTS Blood Donor Week campaign is Ruby, 7, from Bathgate. Ruby's mum Lisa, says:
"Our daughter Ruby has a blood disorder called spherocytosis. This meant she has regularly required blood transfusions during her life. She actually received her first transfusion at just eight weeks old and this continued until she had her spleen removed in August 2018. To prepare for this operation, and to recover from the surgery, she needed five blood transfusions within a very short period of time. The difference this made to Ruby has been life changing for us all. I'm so happy to be able to tell you she is now happy and healthy, playing with her friends and toys."
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to thank blood donors who helped make her treatment possible. I wish I could personally thank all the people who donated the blood that she needed. So, happy blood donor week to you all and thank you so much from a very proud Mummy and grateful family."
Anyone over the age of 17 in general good health and weighing more than 7st 12lbs, could potentially become a blood donor and help to save lives.
To register as a blood donor or to find out where your nearest donation session is, call 0345 90 90 999 or sign up online.