Suffolk: County below average for number of blood donors as calls issued for more to come forward

Someone giving blood. Stocks in Suffolk need replenishing.

Someone giving blood. Stocks in Suffolk need replenishing. - Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

A clarion call has been issued to people in Suffolk in a bid to boost numbers of blood donors to help replenish stocks.

New figures from the NHS Blood and Transplant team have revealed there are 22,555 active donors in Suffolk, which equates to about 3% of the population – slightly below the national average, which is around 4%.

During the recent National Blood Week, a total of 205 people in the county registered to become donors.

This compared to 203 in Norfolk and 515 in Essex.

Derek Carr, lead donor relations manager for Suffolk, said: “We had a really good response from people in the county.

“We lose between 15 and 20% of donors every year – people who are currently donating but no longer can because of medical reasons or they move away.

“There is a need for new donors to come forward.”

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With statistics showing that more than half of the active donors in Suffolk are over the age of 45, there is a drive to recruit younger people. Mr Carr said one of the reasons cited against not giving blood is the time involved, but the screening process from start to finish is just an hour.

He added: “We need to make sure there are enough blood donors so that everyone who needs blood, gets it. Giving blood is vital and it is a very rewarding experience.”

To be eligible to give blood, you must be aged between 17 and 65, weigh more than 50 kg and in general good health. For more information visit www.blood.co.uk or contact 0300 123 23 23.