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Boyle concerned over 60,000 drop in young blood donors

14 June, 2011

Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle has echoed concerns from experts worried about a generation gap in blood donors, as figures show a 20% drop in the number of young people giving blood over the past ten years.

Ms Boyle said

“New research by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) suggests many young people are either too busy or daunted to donate. Some said they had a fear of needles and others not having enough information if they were eligible or where to go to donate .There has been a drop of nearly 60,000 thousand donors aged between 17 to 34 in the past ten years, down from 297,539 in 2001, to now 237,520.

"Blood donation is very important for the proper delivery of health care. Each year thousands of patients require blood transfusions in our hospitals, because they are undergoing surgery, recovering from cancer or have been in a serious accident. Blood transfusion is life saving and life enhancing so every effort must be made to get more people to become donors.

What this survey tells us is we need to redouble our efforts to ensure that young people know the importance of donating blood. The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood every day to care for its patients. We need to get that message into our schools, Universities, sporting organisations and work places.

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