NHS appeal launched to raise the number of male blood donors in Leicester

By Conor de Smith

The NHS Blood and Transplant service is urgently calling for more men to donate blood in Leicester.

Updated figures show that just 45 per cent of the city’s registered blood donors are men while the national number of male donors has been dropping at an alarming rate.

Over the past five years, the number of women donating has dropped by just six per cent but the number of men has fallen by 24.8 per cent.

As part of National Blood Week (June 10 to 16), the NHS is appealing for more men to make an appointment at Leicester’s new static donor centre on Guildhall Lane.

There needs to be an estimated 2,240 new male donors in Leicester over the coming year.

Karen Ellis, Leicester’s Blood Centre Manager, said: “Male donors are particularly important because they can donate more frequently, four times a year, they have naturally higher iron levels and, because men don’t develop the same antibodies throughout their lifetime, we can do more with a male donation.

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Karen Ellis, Blood Centre Manager in Leicester.

“In Leicester, we are looking for around 1,500 more male donors to sign up.”

NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England. At least 135,000 new blood donors each year are needed to replace those who stop donating.

“It is never as bad as people think it is going to be. As human beings we always big these things up in our head and think it’s going to be horrible, it isn’t. If it was, we wouldn’t have all of those fantastic thousands and thousands of donors who come in every day and donate blood,” she said.

“Nationally, we collect around 6,000 donations every day so if it was horrible those people wouldn’t keep coming back. So, give it a go.”

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