THE Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is urging donors to make appointments as a shortage sees the service importing blood for the first time since the late 1990s.
The IBTS said it is importing a consignment of blood from the NHSBT to address a current shortage.
On Wednesday, 115 units of Rh Negative blood groups — O negative, A negative and B negative — were collected in Manchester.
The IBTS has not imported blood in bulk since the late 1990s.
“The IBTS is activating our contingency arrangement with the NHSBT in England to supplement blood stocks and avoid raising an alert under the Irish national blood shortage plan, which could have a serious impact on patient care,” said medical and scientific director, Dr Stephen Field.
In addition to importing blood from the NHSBT, the IBTS is asking for public support to maintain the blood supply over the summer months.
Since moving to an appointment-based system, donors have been incredible in their support throughout the pandemic, Dr Field said.
“However, it has been increasingly difficult to keep the blood supply at the level we need as the summer progresses.”
He said stocks of the main Rh Negative blood groups are under particular pressure, especially O negative which is considered the universal blood group and is always in demand.
For information visit www.giveblood.ie