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article imageDrop in U.K. blood donors

By Tim Sandle     Jun 6, 2015 in Health
Watford - A new campaign for blood donation has been launched in England and Wales following a 40 percent drop in donations, year-on-year.
Blood donation in Britain is free, unlike some countries (including the U.S. where paid donation is common). Based on people taking time out from their busy lives, this often means that the National Blood Service (who provide donated blood to British hospitals) need to run regular campaigners to keep stocks up. The act of altruistically donating blood to help another is what ethics professor Richard Titmuss once termed "the gift relationship."
Stocks of blood tend to fall during times of public holidays, and the blood service needs to build-up stocks prior to Easter and Christmas. Stock build-up is limited by collected blood having an approximate one month expiry date.
Other shortfalls occur, and during June the National Blood Service has sounded an alert about diminishing stocks. According to the BBC, the main reason why stocks have fallen relates to fewer people joining the voluntary register for blood donations. Typically a person donates blood twice a year. Newly released figures reveal that 120,000 fewer people have signed-up to the blood donor register in 2014-15 compared with ten years ago (2004-05.)
As it stands, only around 4 percent of the population in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland come under different health agencies) are on the register, and even here not all of these people donate blood regularly.
Commenting on this, Jon Latham, assistant director for donor services and marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant told the BBC: "We simply can't ignore the fact that there has been a stark reduction in the number of new donors coming forward - a trend seen across the world."
More about Blood donation, blood service, Blood, Plasma, red cells
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