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Rise in black blood donors in Wandsworth

Rise in black blood donors in Wandsworth

  

Figures released today to mark the end of Sickle Cell Awareness Month (September) show that black people in Wandsworth are responding to the urgent need for donors.

Over the past year, 15% more black people have started donating blood in Wandsworth. There is a donor centre on the site of St George’s Hospital in Tooting and mobile donation sessions are held in community venues such as church halls.

NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging more black people in Wandsworth to register as blood donors and save lives because the overall shortage of donors remains.

People from the same ethnic background are more likely to have the same blood types. However the shortage of donors makes it harder to find the best matched blood for black patients.

Nationally, new NHSBT figures show that the number of black blood donors has grown over the past three years in response to urgent appeals in recent years but the situation is still very serious – NHS Blood and Transplant still needs 40,000 new black donors nationally.

The red blood cells of sickle cell patients form into a sickle or crescent moon shape. These cells can block blood vessels, causing agonising pain, and creating a risk of organ damage, stroke, and death. 

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation, said: “This month we can celebrate how more and more black people in Wandsworth are saving lives by donating blood.

“However, the shortage of black donors remains, which makes it harder to find the best matched blood for black people, putting them at greater risk of potentially life threatening transfusion reactions.

“Blood donation is quick, easy and safe and we urge people of black heritage in Wandsworth to register as donors to help save lives.”

To become a blood donor, register and book an appointment by calling 0300 123 23 23, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or visiting blood.co.uk 

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