NHS Need More Blood Donors after Beast from the East Causes Shortage

Blood supplies in Liverpool are falling after The Beast from the East caused regular donors to cancel appointments. Extreme weather conditions including snow, ice and gale force winds has left the NHS unable to collect their usual amount of blood.

Across England hospitals need 6000 units every day to treat patients in need. Following the bad weather, which saw some parts of the region drop to temperatures as low as -10, the NHS is appealing for blood and platelet donors to come forward to stop the shortfall.

A NHS Blood Transplant spokesman said: “We are asking A+ and A- platelet donors who have booked appointments to do all they can to keep them, if safe and possible to do so. It’s crucial that those with appointments attend so that the hospitals can replenish their donated blood stock.

“Platelets only have a shelf life of five days…it’s vital that stocks are replenished daily across to meet the demand from hospitals.”

Blood donors are also being asked to help boost blood stocks in Liverpool as severe weather grips the country. Doctors are asking donors to walk  into fixed site centres to donate, without the need to make an appointment, including Liverpool Donor Centre at Moorfields on Dale Street.

An NHS Blood Transplant spokesman has said that all donors are welcome, but they are particularly appealing to those who have donated before as their blood group is already known.

“We can therefore make sure we collect enough of each blood group to ensure stocks pick up – it will take time to recover stocks, so we are urging donors who cannot travel to make an appointment over the next two weeks.”

Perhaps you’re a blood donor interested in helping yourself? Our 2-day basic Phlebotomy course will allow you to learn all about taking blood, a great qualification to have if you’re looking to start a career in caring, nursing or becoming a paramedic.

For more information, call us today on 01609 751710 or book a course here.


A Breakthrough in Our Understanding of How Red Blood Cells Develop

For the first time, cellular machines called ribosomes have been linked to blood stem cell differentiation. The findings have revealed a potential new therapeutic pathway to treat Diamond-Blackfan anaemia. They also cap off a research effort at Boston Children’s Hospital spanning nearly 80 years and several generations of scientists.

Diamond-Blackfan anaemia is a severe, rare, congenital blood disorder. The disorder impairs red blood cell production, impacting delivery of oxygen throughout the body and causing anaemia. Forty years ago, Boston Children’s Hospital research determined that the disorder specifically affects the way blood stem cells become mature red blood cells. 10 years later, Stuart Orkin, also from Boston Children’s Hospital, identified a protein called GATA1. His studies showed that it was a key factor in the production of haemoglobin. This is the essential protein in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen.

In more recent years, genetic analysis has revealed that some patients with Diamond-Blackfan have mutations that block normal GATA1 production.

So, what causes Diamond-Blackfan anaemia on a molecular level and how exactly ribosomes and GATA1 are involved? Previous studies have found that many patients with D.B anaemia have mutated ribosomal protein genes. In Diamond-Blackfan, other mature blood cells, such as platelets, T cells and B cells are still considered as a cause/attribution, despite mutations of ribosomal protein or GATA1 genes.

By closely examining human cell samples from patients with Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, a team of research collaborators found that the quantity of ribosomes within blood cell precursors directly influences their ability to produce effective levels of GATA1, which is needed for haemoglobin production and also for red blood cell production.

The team have definitively found that a reduced number of ribosomes slashes the output of GATA1 proteins inside blood stem cells, therefore impairing their differentiation into mature red blood cells.

If this article interested you, perhaps you’d like to learn more about blood and the extraction of it? Book a course today or call us on 01609 751 610.


What to Expect on Your Basic Course

Some people come into phlebotomy already working within the health sector, and so may have a rough idea of what to expect from a basic phlebotomy course. But others often come into it with little to no experience of health care, and so they will be introduced to a completely new environment.

Therefore, we thought we would write a quick idea of what to expect when you arrive at your basic course.

The idea of the course is to not only teach the learner about phlebotomy, but to ensure that they can practice it in an effective manner, which will not cause undue harm or discomfort to the patient. This is why the course is split into two parts. The first day is purely a theoretical day, in which we cover the history of phlebotomy, as well as basic anatomy and health and safety practices.

Day two of the course is dedicated to the practical side of phlebotomy, and the actual act of taking blood.

When discussing the theory side of phlebotomy we will cover things such as:

  • The importance of ensuring you have the correct patient via identification
  • How to correctly gain consent, and the implications of not doing so
  • How to identify when a patient is not responding well to the treatment
  • How to create a sterile environment, including correct handwashing technique
  • Possible side effects of carrying out the treatment incorrectly, and how to treat them

On day 2, when you start to practice taking bloods, you will cover:

  • How to correctly apply and remove a tourniquet
  • The difference between the S-Monovette and Evacuate systems and how & when to use them
  • The correct step by step process of taking blood, including before and after the treatment

Unlike other training providers, on the practical day Phlebotomy Training Services will give you access to as much equipment as you need in order for you to feel confident when using either the S-Monovette or Evacuate System. This way you will not only have the highest chance of passing the course and gaining your accreditation, but also be the best phlebotomist you can be.

To find a basic course near you just check the basic course dates here, or to learn more call us on 01609 751 610 or contact us here.


Blood Doping Still Overshadowing Success At Global Sporting Competitions

The most recent case in the sporting sector’s battle against performance enhancing drugs occurred in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has had his bronze medal stripped from him on the back of admitting to the usage of meldonium.

Meldonium is just one of the many Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) that are banned from sports, with the IAAF taking drastic measures in stripping the Russian’s medals from him. The effects of meldonium are stated to be widening of the arteries which facilitates blood flow to the muscles, therefore allowing more oxygen and other nutrients to access them, heightening the length of time the muscles can last. It is usually used to treat conditions such as angina, chronic heart failure, and other cardiovascular disorders.

The exposing of Krushelnitskky received bemusement and increased criticism as the heightened endurance effects of meldonium would better be used in a sport or even that required more intensity from the muscles than curling demands.

The recent revelation spearheads the latest case of athletes using PED’s, with previous offenders including Mario Sharapova, Lance Armstrong, and Justin Gatlin. The side effects of many PED’s can also be uncomfortable and life threatening; varying from aches in the joints, to heart arrhythmias.

Sports team doctors, individual coaches and medical advisors to sportspeople share the responsibility to ensure their athletes comply with the rules of their given sport. Taking that into consideration, as a trained phlebotomist, a career in this field could be applicable. Nevertheless, an awareness of the implications certain medicines and drugs can have is vital when it comes to blood transfusions.

PTS provides phlebotomy training courses in many cities across the UK, which could suit the training requirements of many organisations such as hospital staff, care workers, and university students. To find out when the next course is being rolled out in your city visit our book a course page. Alternatively, if you would like to speak with one of us for more information, visit our contact page.