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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Appeal for men to become blood donors

10/06/2019
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To mark National Blood Week, 10-16 June 2019, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is urgently calling for more men to become donors at Oxford Donor Centre, as new figures show that only 41 percent of the active blood donors at the centre are male.

In Oxford, there is a particular need for more male donors, more donors with O negative blood and also more A negative platelet donors.

NHSBT is now asking men in Oxford to make an appointment to donate for the first time at Oxford Donor Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Donors of any gender are welcome, and blood types are not gender-specific. However, there are two factors which make a strong number of male donors essential for a safe and efficient supply of blood to hospitals.

Men generally have higher iron levels than women, so they are more likely to be able to donate on any given day. Donors with low iron levels cannot donate to protect their own health.

Men also do not make new antibodies, which are part of the body's defence system, as the result of a pregnancy. That makes it easier to match their blood to patients, and also easier to use their blood in products such as plasma and platelets, which are used for patients with cancer, major blood loss, burns injuries and more.

In 2018, 13,289 units of blood were sent to the John Radcliffe Hospital alone, to help save and improve the lives of patients.

9,375 units of blood were collected from Oxford Donor Centre in 2018, but blood donated there can be sent to hospitals across the country, not just hospitals in the city.

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We need more new male donors in Oxford to address the decline in men becoming blood donors. Blood donation saves lives.

"Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors, to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals.

"We can assure men out there that blood donation is an amazing experience that you can feel proud of. Giving blood at Oxford Donor Centre is quick and easy - we aim to have you in and out within an hour, but the actual donation itself should only take around 10 minutes.

We need men to start their own blood story."

Donor centres are bright, big modern venues, designed for donation and created close to areas with target population groups.

Community venues in the area are more likely to have enough donors already.

On Friday 15 June 2019 in Abingdon, there will be a 'What's Your Blood Type' event from 11.00am to 5.00 pm at the Oxfordshire Jerk Festival at Dalton Barracks Community Centre, where NHSBT staff can carry out a quick test to determine your likely blood type and help if you want to register as a donor.

During National Blood Week NHSBT is asking people to share their stories of blood donation and transfusion to stop people taking blood for granted.

Whether you've given or received blood please share your story for National Blood Week: #MyBloodStory #GiveBlood

Become a blood donor - register today and book and appointment:

0300 123 23 23 / www.blood.co.uk

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