Type O- Blood Donors Needed For Olympics

By Lindsey Last edited 81 months ago
Type O- Blood Donors Needed For Olympics

The Tower of London, more usually linked with villains and blood-shed than blood donation, today played host to a donation session for Tower of London residents (including Yeoman Warders, better known as Beefeaters) and employees as well as the general public with an emphasis on O- donations to boost blood stocks  ahead of the Olympics.

New statistics from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) announced today reveal a gap between demand and supply of blood type O- during national celebrations and underline an urgent need for O- donors to come forward ahead of the Olympics next month. 
The statistics coincide with annual World Blood Donor Day (14th June). The theme this year is heroes. NHSBT is marking the occasion with a special one-off blood donation session at the Tower of London to appeal to this group of blood donor heroes whilst also collecting blood from some Britain’s military heroes, the Beefeaters. 

Hannah Farrands (5) from Leicester has undergone 5 open-heart surgeries due to  a complex congenital heart defect and will have more in the future during which she  has  required major blood transfusions.

Hannah is pictured with Yeaman Warder  Robin Fuller as he donates blood today.
Have you got 'super blood'?

If your blood is Type O negative it can be used for blood transfusions to people of any blood type. The National Blood Service is urging people to give blood before the Olympics start, but particularly those with this universal blood type;

An estimated 1.2 million people and 15,000 athletes are expected to visit London as part of the Olympic Games, whose blood type may not be known, so should they need a transfusion O- blood is likely to be needed. The increased demands on stocks will be compounded by low numbers of donors coming forward in the midst of the disruption and distraction of the celebrations.

Top tip for any first timer blood donors or those who fear spurting but do want to give: during your donation clenching and releasing alternate buttocks in time to whatever's on the radio keeps your blood pumping, speeds the process and is mentally distracting and mildly entertaining - even if it's talk radio. Promise.

When we last wrote about giving blood, readers commented on the blanket ban on men who have had sex with men becoming blood donors. Since then, the situation has changed — slightly. Men who have had sex with men may now give blood, but only after a 12 month abstinence period. So celibate gay men may step on up. Others — including those in monogamous, safe sexual relationships — remain excluded.

Read the rationale behind this rule and the Blood Service's apology "for any inadvertent offence this may cause" here.

Check whether you can give blood and get all your blood donation questions answered at www.blood.co.uk.

Last Updated 15 June 2012