National Blood Week: More than 1,300 new blood donors are needed in Dacorum to help save lives

There is said to be an urgent need for more young, Black African and Black Caribbean donors.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 3:46 pm

People in Dacorum are urged to give blood as NHS Blood and Transplant reveals its newest targets to save lives over the next year.

1,316 new donors are needed in the county to help save more lives.

Over the next five years, one million more blood donors needed to make sure that patients receive the right type of blood.

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There are one million more blood donors needed in the next five years.

While most people are familiar with the main blood types, there are many sub-types that can provide a better match to improve treatment.

And there is a specific urgency for more Black African and Black Caribbean donors, whose blood can treat people with sickle cell.

Sickle cell is the fastest growing genetic blood disorder in the UK and mostly affects people of Black heritage.

The disorder requires regular transfusions – most often with the specific blood subtype Ro.

Stephen Cornes, Director of Blood Supply at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Currently we can only meet around half of the demand for Ro blood through our existing donor base and demand for this rare blood type is rising."

He added: "This means many sickle cell patients often receive less well-matched blood which, while clinically suitable, can pose a longer-term risk to patients who receive regular transfusions. We urgently need new Black African and Black Caribbean donors to come forward and donate blood."

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The NHS says that knowing your blood type is an essential part of being a next-generation donor.

A mass public campaign is being held this National Blood Week and throughout June to identify people with the most needed blood types.

Dr Bola Owolabi, Director of Health Inequalities at NHS England, said “A shortage of blood donation from people of a Black heritage often means that some patients don’t receive the best blood-type match and are therefore at risk of serious complications.”

Dr Owolabi added: “I would urge anyone who is able to give blood to come forward as soon as possible – you are vital in saving the lives of your neighbours, friends and communities who are battling this disease.”

People can book an appointment to donate blood here.