Predictions from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) have raised concerns that Britain won’t have enough type O Negative (O-) blood to deal with medical emergencies during next month’s Olympic Games. Type O – is universal because it can be used no matter what the patient’s own blood type is.
[Related article: How the blood type diet worked for me]
The difference between the amount of blood needed and of blood donated goes up during public holidays (by 29 per cent at Christmas and 25 per cent during Easter). The Jubilee saw demand rocket to 69 per cent above supply thanks to an influx of people and regular donors being too busy to give blood as they usually would.
To combat this, NHSBT is encouraging those with O- ‘super blood’ to get donating now to keep stocks up for next month.
And to promote the blood drive, they’ve got Britain’s Beefeaters to take a break from telling the bloody tales of the Tower of London’s historic prisoners, and instead give (rather less of) their own blood to the cause.
“Without O- blood donors many live saving procedures could be delayed or made more risky for patients and of course we wouldn’t be able to give transfusions to people with O- at all since they can only take blood of their own type,” explained NHSBT spokesman Jon Latham. “We’re appealing to this elite group of blood donors to help us prepare for the unprecedented demand expected around the Olympics to make sure our health services have the essential stocks they need.
“And if you don’t know whether you are O- or not, donating blood is the perfect way to find out!”
Well, what are you waiting for?