Give blood; save a life

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Lancaster University students are being encouraged to help save lives by signing up to donate blood through the NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT).

The NHSBT, which is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority responsible for blood- and organ-donation services in the NHS in England and North Wales, has launched a campaign to recruit ‘100,000 New Donors in 100 Days’ in order to make up a short-fall in new donors that followed a ‘dramatic decline’ in young donors in 2012.

Last year, a total of 156 students from Lancaster University signed up on session to donate blood for the first time. However, each year approximately 225,000 existing donors leave the system, which means that the NHSBT service is anxious to recruit volunteers from a younger demographic in order to generate longer-term supplies of blood resources.

Hospitals across England need 7,000 units of blood every day. Blood transfusions are vital in treating those involved in accidents, those with long-term health conditions, and are also used during maternity procedures.

Currently, only four per cent of the eligible population actually donate blood on a regular basis. The reliable and efficient supply of blood and related services to the NHS by the NHSBT is imperative to ensuring those in need of a transfusion are able to receive the correct blood-type as quickly as possible.

Barbara Blanche, Lead Donor Relations Manager for Lancaster, said: ‘A failure to boost the number of young donors now will put a strain on the blood service in the years to come.

‘Since we launched the campaign, we have already had thousands of dedicated new donors sign up but more still needs to be done. Young people are vital to the blood service, with 17-24 year olds accounting for around 40% of new donors each year. We hope students in Lancaster can rise to the challenge and save people’s lives.’

Forthcoming local sessions at Lancaster University are being held in the Great hall on 4 March, 15 March and 24 October from 11am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 5pm.

To find out if you are eligible to become a blood donor and make a date to donate, you can visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23. You can also follow NHSBT on Twitter or Facebook.

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