The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) are asking for new donors

This festive season, The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) are asking for new donors, and asking people to return and donate if they have not given for a while. There are 96,726 blood donors in Scotland. This is good news, but 31,435 additional donors have not given a donation so far in 2022 – we are here today to remind them we would love to welcome them back.

Dr Sylvia Armstrong-Fisher, SNBTS, says, “The donor base in Scotland now has 96,726 active blood donors, and we are grateful to them. We can see lots of donors, who were so committed during the Pandemic, may now have got out of the habit. We are asking people to book an appointment at your local donor centre, or one of the many community sessions across the country.

Sylvia continues, “Blood donors have an essential part to play in supporting NHS Scotland this winter. Every week, in December we aim to welcome 3,411 donors. We would like to welcome more group bookings – giving blood with friends, colleagues, or your club is a very valuable thing to do. We are delighted over 30 companies in Scotland have organised group bookings as part of their corporate blood collection programme. Please consider signing up to join them.”

One family who are very grateful for blood donors, are Stephanie 36 and Kenny 38, from Ayrshire, Their 13 month old daughter Hannah was born prematurely in October 2021. Stephanie says, “Our daughter Hannah was born prematurely at 34 weeks, weighing exactly 5lbs. Hannah was born with Haemolytic disease of the newborn. She needed lots of treatment, and part of this treatment was receiving two full blood exchanges, and 4 top up transfusions in the weeks after she was born. Hannah was born in Crosshouse, and received further treatment at the Royal Hospital for Children, where she had surgery for an umbilical hernia and two inguinal hernias. We can’t be more grateful for the donors that made this possible and have allowed Hannah to lead a healthy life.”

Dad Kenny says, “I work for Barclays in Glasgow, and I am proud my workplace is Glasgow Donor Centres’ biggest corporate supporter. 71 of my colleagues gave blood at Glasgow donor centre last week. As each donation can be split into three separate parts (red cells platelets and plasma), this means my Barclays colleagues have saved or improved the lives of up to 213 patients in Scotland. I know SNBTS are looking for more companies to join this initiative, and I hope seeing the difference blood donors have made to my family can motivate many more companies to participate.”

Kate says, “I’d like to thank donors who have made my treatment possible, and I’d like to thank everyone who gives people like me the gift of life.”

Sylvia continues, “We have made many positive changes to blood collection, to make giving blood as easy as possible for donors. We now offer sessions by appointment, and 88% of new donors have already registered an online donor account. We offer more weekend and evening donating opportunities, and regularly text donors if we particularly need their blood group.

“Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority. The need for blood does not take a rest, and we will be collecting blood on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and Hogmany. We are asking people to take time out of their busy schedules one these dates in particular. Thank you to everyone who has supported patients in Scotland in 2022. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”