Plea for donors as blood stocks fall

Plea for donors as blood stocks fall

There is just three days' supply of the main blood groups available at present, according to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

AN appeal is being made for blood donors as there are only enough blood supplies in the main blood groups, for the next three days.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service made the appeal today, with acting Operations Director Barry Doyle saying: “Blood stocks this morning stand at three days across the main blood groups. Bank holiday weekends are always difficult as our capacity to collect blood is reduced, the increased incidence of Covid-19 in the community as well as seasonal illness is having an adverse effect on donor attendance.”

He added: “Therefore we are asking donors to help us support the health service by making an appointment to give blood when they receive a text from us. The increased demand experienced during the summer and sustained into autumn has had an impact on stock levels of all blood groups. Covid-19 continues to impact donor blood collections and our ability to maintain the blood supply has become increasingly difficult.” 

He said that the IBTS issued a “pre-amber” alert under the National Transfusion Advisory Group blood shortage plan to all hospitals, advising them of the current situation and asking them to use blood conservatively.

He continued: “If the IBTS has to issue an ‘amber alert letter’ which is the next escalation level of the blood shortage plan, it would have an immediate implication for hospitals and for elective surgical procedures, requiring blood support. To mitigate against this we are asking people to help us support the health service in its efforts to keep normal hospital services running.” 

He said donor appointments are done entirely on the phone with donors being pre-screened before an appointment is made for them to attend the donation clinic, to avoid unnecessary attendance.

He added: “We are asking existing donors to ring us when they get a text from us about their local clinic and make an appointment to attend. New donors who are interested in becoming donors can register their interest on www.giveblood.ie and we will make contact when a donation clinic is scheduled at a location near to them.”

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