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Urgent appeal for blood donations in Lancaster after bad weather hits collections

Blood bags - NHS Blood and Transplant are urging people with two rare blood groups to donate after bad weather hit blood collections.
Blood bags - NHS Blood and Transplant are urging people with two rare blood groups to donate after bad weather hit blood collections.

People with two valuable blood groups are being urged to donate at Lancaster Donor Centre now.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs donors with B negative and O negative blood to donate after the bad weather hit blood collection.

Donors with these groups will be able to walk in and donate at Lancaster Donor Centre at Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The recent freezing weather and snow put many people off donating, and led to some cancelled sessions, meaning stocks of these valuable groups are lower than seriously ill hospital patients will need this Christmas.

O negative is the universal donor blood which can be safely give to almost anyone, making it especially valuable for trauma patients where there is little time to test for blood groups. Only 9% of donors are O negative.

B negative is particularly important because many patients with serious blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia need B negative blood. Only 2% of donors are B negative and it is a blood group more common in black and Asian people.

Lancaster Donor Centre is at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, LA1 4RP, and it has a wide variety of opening hours over the next few days, which can be seen at blood.co.uk. Donors usually make appointments to donate but donors with the in demand groups will just be able to turn up and donate.

Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant said: “The recent poor weather has resulted in us having less O negative and B negative blood than is required for patients going into Christmas.

“If you are a donor with one of these important blood groups, please just walk into Lancaster Donor Centre as soon as you can, and we will take your blood.

“Seriously ill patients in Lancaster will need blood this Christmas and they will rely on the generosity of people making time to donate now.

“If you know that you have one of these blood groups and you can donate please take action now and walk in and donate – you will save lives.”

You can get more information about Lancaster Donor Centre including opening times by calling the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.blood.co.uk.