People urged to give blood as Christmas approaches

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A call has gone out for blood donations as hospitals build up life-saving stocks in the run-up to the festive season.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) said 470 people need to give blood every day in December to meet demand over the Christmas holidays.

The service aims to maintain a five to seven-day supply of each of the eight different blood groups at all times.

It is asking current donors to ensure they know their blood group and come forward now.

SNBTS is also looking for new donors, particularly those under the age of 45.

Lynne Willdigg, associate director of donor services, said: “As Christmas Day is a Tuesday this year, traditionally one of our strongest collection days, we are asking donors to come forward now to ensure stocks continue to build in the run up to the public holiday.

“We would also love to welcome new donors. Forty-seven per cent of active donors in Scotland are age 45 or over so it is important younger people start giving blood to meet the needs of our ageing population.

“As you can start giving blood at age 17, we are reaching out to all younger people to encourage them to think about giving blood now.”

Supporting the call is 40-year-old Rod from Hatton in Aberdeenshire, who was a regular donor before emergency treatment for a burst stomach ulcer five years ago when he received 10 pints of donated blood.

In January 2013, he went home ill from work and started vomiting blood.

He said: “I was somehow able to call 999 and was rushed to A&E where I immediately received at least 10 pints of blood as well as platelets and plasma.

“The pains I’d been having in my stomach turned out to be a stomach ulcer which had burrowed its way into a major artery and then burst, resulting in my stomach being filled with blood.

“I spent the next few days in hospital and, after that, some time recuperating before I felt well enough to return to work. I was given the complete all-clear two months later.

“Without these anonymous angels, who take an hour out of their day to donate, I might not have survived.”

Anyone over the age of 17 in good health and weighing more than 7st 12lb could potentially become a blood donor.

To register or find out where your nearest donation session is call 0845 90 90 999 or visit

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