Blood donors needed after bad weather

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Giving blood. Pic © Jack Butler JMU Journalism

The NHS is appealing for more blood donors in Liverpool and North West England, after a large decrease in numbers during the recent blizzards and hazardous weather.

Storm Emma hit Merseyside and the rest of the country last week, bringing high winds and snowfall that blanketed parts of the city and, as a result, the NHS has reported a drop in regular donations.

Merseyside isn’t the only region affected, with areas such as Birmingham, Luton and South Yorkshire among those calling for extra blood donors to come forward.

Hospitals across the country require 6,000 donations of blood daily to accommodate patients in need.

The manager of the Moorfields blood donor centre on Dale Street, Lee Wright, told JMU Journalism: “Although the adverse weather conditions weren’t as bad here as they were in other parts of the country, we definitely saw a significant increase in cancellations of appointments.

“We’ve now got a lot of work to do to get back to where we want to be. However, if it wasn’t for the donors and staff who have been able to come in, I don’t know where we’d be right now – on a national level too.”

The 43-year-old was keen to extend his gratitude to those who were able to make their original commitments, despite the conditions. He said: “I’ve not been in this centre [Moorfields] for too long, but previously I have worked in Wales, and with another team in Liverpool as well. I’ve been here for six or seven years and I don’t think I’ve seen something that’s hit everywhere across the country, on as large of a scale as this.

“The donors that have managed to come in have made some epic journeys, especially those who have come here from as far as Wales.”

YouTube: Jack Butler

The NHS Blood and Transplant website states that over half of their current donors are over the age of 45, so they need a higher volume of younger people to give blood to ensure there is enough in years to come.

Lee is a donor himself and said it’s something he wishes he’d started doing at a younger age. He told JMU Journalism: “I think for some people there is an apprehension about donating, but it shouldn’t hurt.

“You come and have a cup of tea and some biscuits, and especially if it’s something you start doing young and continue doing so, you will have improved or saved countless lives.”