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11 December 2017

Red Monday

New mum asks for 6,240 people to give blood in the next two weeks.

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The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) require 6,240 people to give blood before Christmas. There are currently 112,251 active blood donors in Scotland, and 5% of them are being asked to give blood in the next two weeks.

Dr Moira Carter, Associate Director of Donor Services, SNBTS says, "Christmas is an important time for the blood supply. There are eight different blood groups of which we aim to maintain a 6 to 8 day supply at all times. Donations can drop by up to 20% during the holiday period, as regular donors are busy with seasonal festivities, so it’s especially important that people continue to give blood to support the patients of Scotland throughout December.

"Due to improvements in the supply chain, the link between donors and patients is now closer than ever – with the average blood donation transfused into a patient only 7 days after the donor has given it."

Jodie, Charlie and baby Maybel thank blood donors this December
Jodie, Charlie and baby Maybel thank blood donors this December

Jodie's story

New mum Jodie is helping highlight the importance of giving blood.

Jodie says, "I gave birth to my beautiful daughter eight weeks ago. We were delighted, she lay on my chest and my husband cut the cord then held her in his arms. Seconds later alarms rang in theatre, the atmosphere changed to one of panic and my husband was asked to leave immediately with our newborn. My husband recalls that I had turned blue and could see a huge blood loss as he left theatre. Unfortunately I had haemorrhaged and over the next hour and a half in theatre I lost about 45% of my body’s blood.

I was in hospital for a week and didn't have the best start to motherhood. But without blood donors, I wouldn’t have had any start. Jodie

"I received a transfusion in theatre that day and was extremely lucky that staff were fast acting. The following few days are a blur, fainting when attempting to get out of bed and being too weak to do anything never mind look after my baby. I then had to have a second transfusion as my bloods had dropped to 66 and I was seriously ill. A third transfusion had to be given three days after the birth. In total I was in hospital for one week and did not have the best start to motherhood. But without blood donors I wouldn’t have had any start to motherhood. I’m deeply grateful to the donors who saved my life, and would like to encourage everyone to think about donating. We are now very much looking forward to an amazing Christmas with our beautiful baby girl."

O Negative

Over the next few weeks SNBTS would ask that donors come in to give blood to help ensure healthy stock levels during the festive period. The 'universal blood group' O Negative can be given to anyone in an emergency, however only 9% of the Scottish population have this blood type. The Service needs 950 O Negative blood donors to donate before Christmas in order to meet the demand.

Dr Moira Carter continues, "We appreciate that this is a busy time of year, but I’d encourage existing and new blood donors to make an extra special effort to donate before this Christmas. SNBTS believe that it’s increasingly important that blood donors know their blood group as not every donor can help every patient. We value all of Scotland’s blood donors, but sometimes we may need particular blood types more than others. By knowing your type, you may be able to help at a time when patients in Scotland need you most.

"Bloodstocks are updated daily on our website www.scotblood.co.uk. By knowing your blood group, and checking bloodstocks during the festive period, you can help make sure blood is available for patients when they need you most. If we write to you, please ensure you make an extra special effort to donate."

Current blood stock levels across Scotland

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