There is a constant need for blood donations in the UK. Hospitals can never have too much blood to be used for life saving transfusions. However, following on from the hot weather and world cup, reserves are currently startlingly low – especially in type O-negative.
The combined cost of the heat and the world cup cost the NHS around 2,000 donations. This brings the reserves down to around 3 days, which is half of the 6-day ideal – and is still looking to drop if the warm weather continues.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: ‘The long spell of sunshine has been great in many ways but some people have chosen to stay in the sun instead of giving blood, and some people haven’t been hydrated enough to donate safely.’
O Negative is a particularly important blood group as it is a universal donor group and can be given to most people in the case of an emergency.
The NHS are crying out for people with O negative to visit their local donation centre as soon as possible. Find your nearest donation point. You do not necessarily need an appointment, however it is vital that you are adequately hydrated which the heat can have an obvious effect on.