You can help! Dundee centre in plea for more blood donors

Tele reporter Jon Brady gives blood for the first time at Ninewells.

Dundee’s blood bank has issued a fresh call for people with type A+, O+ or B- blood to consider donating.

The Dundee Donor Centre, located inside Ninewells Hospital, is hoping to attract new and previous donors to keep stocks at a sustainable level.

There is a strong need in Tayside for A+, O+ and B- blood, following what Lynne Willdigg, of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), called “heavy demand” over the festive period.

She explained: “For the first two weeks of January, demand is up about 17% compared to usual levels.”

In addition to A+, O+ and B-, Lynne added that the service was always keen to recruit people with type O- blood.

“O- is used in emergencies as it is universal, and can be used until blood matches can be made,” she added. “It’s only found in 9% of the population but makes up 14% of our supply.

“If you’re not sure if you can donate I would advise you to visit scotblood.co.uk and take our “Can I Donate?” questionnaire.”

Among those looking to do their bit in Ninewells this week were Perth man John Kerr, 56, and son Cameron, 17, who was donating for the first time.

John’s wife Ruth has been in hospital being treated for aplastic anaemia, a disease that causes a deficiency in red and white blood cells and platelets.

John, a member of the armed forces and a frequent donor in the past, said: “She has been receiving a lot of blood transfusions and platelets, and prior to this she has been on a fortnightly transfusion regime.

“People think you just need blood for car crashes, but treatment regimes like this, the day to day, need huge amounts of blood and platelets all the time. It’s quite incredible to see.”

The SNBTS runs regular donation sessions across Tayside, with a full calendar available on its website.

The next such event takes place on January 30 at the Blyth Hall in Newport, from 5.30pm-7.15pm.

To book an appointment to give blood, call 0345 9090 999 or email NSS.snbtsenquiry@nhs.net.

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