Blood donations in Bristol are considered to be at ‘vulnerable’ levels due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. The NHS are calling for more people to come forward to donate blood at the Bristol donor centre in Southmead Hospital as stocks have fallen to lower levels than needed.
This is due to higher levels of staff and donor illness, which is mainly linked to the rise in coronavirus cases, according to the NHS. The number of people with Covid in the UK has more than doubled since the start of June with around 2.3 million people testing positive.
Hospitals are currently requesting more blood than is being donated, which has concerned health officials, who are issuing their second appeal in the last week. Mark Chambers, the NHS blood and transplant department’s assistant director of planning, said: “We are still supplying hospitals with all the blood they need. However we need to stop the decline in blood stocks now.
“We urgently need more people to make appointments to give blood at our Bristol Donor Centre. If you are one of our amazing donors in Bristol please make and keep an appointment.
“And if you have never donated before, now is a great time to make your first donation. You will be helping the NHS at an important time. Every appointment counts.”
The demand for blood is now back to pre-Covid levels as hospitals catch up on the backlog of routine activity that was postponed during the pandemic. Currently, there are 4.5 days of blood in stock nationally, but the NHS normally looks to hold six days, and some blood types are down to as low as three days.
Stocks have also fallen because donations are lower in the summer, when people are busy with holidays and events. The Bristol donor centre is only 57 per cent full next week, although many sessions held in community venues such as church halls are full.
The blood types most in demand are O positive, O negative and B negative. To find out how to donate blood, visit www.blood.co.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or download the NHS Give Blood app.