Give a magical gift this Christmas by donating blood

Basingstoke Gazette: Giving blood is key to saving countless lives Giving blood is key to saving countless lives

AS THE festive season approaches, NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for Basingstoke people to step up and give a truly important gift this Christmas – blood.

Blood stocks tend to drop between November and the New Year, and hospitals desperately need extra units of blood to see them through the Christmas period.

A unit of blood has a shelf life of 35 days, and hospitals in England and North Wales need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients in urgent need.

Each unit donated could help save or improve the lives of up to three people.

As well as being used in emergency care, blood is used to treat patients with cancer, blood disorders and to help women needing blood during childbirth.

Geraldine Parker, NHS Blood and Transplant’s lead donor relations manager for Hampshire, said: “This is an extremely challenging time of year for us as we need to make sure that hospitals are supplied with the blood and platelets they need to treat patients over the Christmas holidays.

“So while people are in a generous frame of mind, we’re asking that they don’t forget those whose must-have gift is blood or platelets.

“Donating doesn’t cost a penny and saves lives, meaning many more children and adults can spend precious time with their families over Christmas.

“Whether you’re a regular blood or platelet donor, or are new to donating, you can make a real difference. So please make an appointment now to save lives.”

HOW TO DONATE

Anyone aged 17 and over, who is in general good health, can give blood. To find out more visit blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

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