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One month on from the first ever National Blood Week, NHS Blood and Transplant released new figures showing that between 13–26 June almost 9,500 people in the West Midlands made a date to donate, and more than 1,800 registered to donate for the first time.
During National Blood Week, NHSBT issued a call for 10,000 people across England and North Wales to make a date to donate, after new data showed there had been a 20 per cent drop in young regular donors over the last decade raising concerns for the stability of blood stocks in the future.
Despite a significant increase in the number of new registrations among young people in the West Midlands , among existing donors, 40-54 year olds are still responsible for giving the most blood. From 13 to the 26 June, 3,536 existing donors aged 40 - 54 made appointments to donate, compared to 1,711 from the 17-29 age bracket.
23 year old Abdul Alim from Birmingham is just one of the many people whose life has been saved thanks to people donating blood . Abdul was born with an inherited blood disease called Thalassaemia. Due to his condition, Abdul requires a blood transfusion every four weeks as his body is unable to make enough healthy haemoglobin to keep him alive.
"Without regular blood transfusions I simply wouldn't be able to survive. I'm so grateful to all those selfless people who take the time to donate blood and help people like me to stay alive! By giving blood you are providing the gift of life to some of the millions living with cancer, leukaemia, and sickle cell - and of course, those involved in serious accidents! You never know when you are going to need blood someday, so please make a date to donate."
Suzanne Walsh, NHSBT Lead Donor Relations Manager, West Midlands comments:
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to our National Blood Week campaign and would like to thank all of the first time and regular donors in the West Midlands who made a date to donate, a simple act that will help to save and improve many lives.
However, to maintain national blood stocks, we need over a 156,000 donations and 16,000 new donors every year in the West Midlands alone,- and there is a lack of regular young donors. We therefore urge the younger generation to make a date to donate and become life savers of the future.”
For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, or call 0300 123 2323. You can also follow NHSBT at http://www.facebook.com/NHSBlood or www.twitter.com/NHSGiveBlood.