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Fears Olympics could hit Sussex blood donor rates
An urgent appeal has gone out to more people across Sussex to donate blood during the Olympics.
Officials are worried stocks will fall over the next two weeks with thousands concentrating more on events in London than on making an appointment to give blood.
Donations fell by 3% during Wimbledon this year and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) fears a similar dip will happen as August gets underway.
The organisation now wants people thinking about giving blood for the first time to come forward and help keep stocks healthy during and after the games.
Donated blood is used not only in accident and emergency situations, but also for patients undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases, such as leukaemia. Currently 7,000 units of blood are needed every day to help save the lives of sick and injured patients across the country.
NHSBT lead donor relations manager John Canning said: “Blood has a limited shelf life of 35 days for red blood cells and just seven days for platelets.
“Because of this, it is vital that both existing and new blood donors come forward now, so we can ensure that vital supplies of blood are available for the patients that need them over the summer months.”
Sessions coming up in Sussex include ones in Hove, Eastbourne and Crawley.
Donors could potentially help people like Hannah Gregory, 37, from Copthorne.
She was given 32 pints of blood in two hours after going into premature labour and suffering heavy bleeding when giving birth to son Ben, now two.
Anyone aged between 17 – 65, weighing more than 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor.
There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.
To book an appointment call the donor line on 0300 1232323 or visit www.blood. co.uk.