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Supplies of two blood types running low in Dorset - can you help?
AN URGENT appeal has been launched for two specific blood groups following a shortfall in donations during last week’s bad weather.
Jon Latham, assistant director at NHS Blood and Transplant, told the Echo: “We need O Rh [rhesus] negative and B Rh negative donors, who are eligible to donate, to come along to a local session today, if possible, and over the next four to five days.
“Stocks of these groups fell during the bad weather and it’s vital that we increase our stocks now, so we can continue to meet the needs of patients.”
Donors with blood group O Rh negative are typically known as the “universal donor” as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group which can be vital in an emergency situation when there may not be time for an immediate blood grouping test.
Approximately seven per cent of the population have this blood group.
Find out where to give blood near you here
Donors with the blood group B Rh negative (only two per cent of the population) are more often found in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.
Blood isn’t just needed in accidents and emergencies, many patients, such as those undergoing treatment for cancer and leukaemia, need regular blood transfusions.
Each donation can potentially save the lives of three adults and just a teaspoon of blood could save the life of a newborn baby.
If you can help, please ring the Donor Helpline on 0300 123 2323 or visit blood.co.uk to register your details, find the venues and times for your nearest blood donation session.
Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health.
If you’ve donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.