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22 March 2021

Blood stocks; A balancing act

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Not all blood types can be given to all patients and we must keep 6 days stocks of all 8 blood groups, but how do we do it? Let's share with you the balancing act that is blood stocks!

Your invitation to donate at your local session has just dropped through your letterbox, nothing new there. But do you realise you aren’t randomly selected to come along just because its “your time “? Oh no no no… you have been carefully selected because we have the tools and technology to match who we invite along to give blood with what we expect the hospitals in Scotland to need in the coming weeks. Clever huh!?

* Today's blood stock levels are shown at the bottom of the page

* Today's blood stock levels are shown at the bottom of the page

We plan our donor sessions months in advance in terms of how much blood we need to collect over the year, but the finer details of what types we need and in what quantities is considered only a few weeks and sometimes only days before the event.

We know our appointment system has improved your donating experience. No more sitting in a queue not knowing how long it will be before you are seen but it has a huge benefit to us behind the scenes too.

Knowing that we can meet the specific transfusion requirements of those who are vulnerable or in need is a great thing. Andrew Reid, SNBTS

Andrew Reid, our Donor Relations and Scheduling Manager said, ‘When we get a call from a hospital and are asked for a special type of blood or for a large quantity of one blood group in an emergency, we have the visibility and the confidence to be able to promise those donations on a specific day, to a specific patient. Knowing that we can meet the specific transfusion requirements of those who are vulnerable or in need is a great thing. ’

Similarly, if we know that a hospital has already used large amounts of one blood group, perhaps following an accident or large haemorrhage, we are able to tweak the numbers of donors we invite along in the next few days to make sure that stocks of no one blood group is too high or too low. Sometimes we do need to make adjustments of our blood groups both up and down in terms of what blood types we really need, it’s all about getting the balance right.

Have you ever received a text out of the blue asking you to give blood at short notice? Chances are this is because you have been specifically selected as we urgently need your blood group. This is why it’s really important that you not only come when you’re invited (if you are able to) but that we also have your up to date information on file, especially your correct mobile number. It’s the quickest way for us to get in touch! You can use your online donor account update your personal details as well as find a session and book your appointment.

So keep an eye out for your invitation to donate dropping through your door, or if its been a while or you're a first time donor, find a session near you and book your appointment. We can't wait to welcome you. 

Current blood stock levels across Scotland Wednesday 23 June

We aim to retain 6 days of stocks at any time in order to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.

Learn more about blood types