MORE than three times as many women than men are becoming blood donors in Poole, the NHS blood service has announced.

And that's a problem because blood from male donors can be used more widely than blood from women.

Now the NHS Blood and Transfusion service is calling on more men in the borough to step up and give the gift of life after new figures showed that last year 133 women in Dorset who registered in January became blood donors, compared to only 41 men.

A spokesman for the transfusion service said: "Donors of every gender are welcome, and men and women can have the same blood groups. However, men’s blood can contain fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells because women often make these antibodies during pregnancy. This means male blood is often more suitable for creating blood products used to treat patients."

He said that men tend to have higher iron levels than women, so they are less likely to be deferred from donating due to low haemoglobin and their blood can be used for by-products including platelets and allogeneic serum to treat people with dry eye conditions.

Luke Evenden from Weymouth started giving blood a few years ago in memory of his dad who died when Luke was a teenager.

“When I was giving blood, I saw a sign for platelet donation, so I enquired about it, found out I was suitable, and I haven't looked back since," he said. "Platelets are just as important as blood, so I donate once a month, more if can, and the team at Poole Donor centre are so welcoming. I would encourage anyone thinking about becoming a donor to just do it.”

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all our female donors in Poole but we need men to catch up with recent recruitment because their blood can have different characteristics which can make it important in certain situations.

“It’s vital that more men start donating blood because their blood is used to provide life-saving products like plasma and platelets – to save victims of burns, car crashes and treat to patients with cancer."

There are almost 9,650 active blood donors in Dorset with almost 4,250 of these currently giving blood at Poole donor centre.

*Take the first step by calling 0300 123 23 23 or contacting