Urgent appeal for blood donors as London stocks run low and thousands of appointments unfilled

Supplies of blood group ‘O’ are running “lower than normal” (NHS)
Supplies of blood group ‘O’ are running “lower than normal” (NHS)

Health officials are appealing for Londoners to come forward to give blood as group O stocks are running “lower than normal”.

There are more than 6,000 unfilled appointments to donate and hospitals are in “urgent need”.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is calling for O Positive and O Negative blood donors to donate blood to shore up dwindling stocks in London.

O negative is the type that can be given to anyone which makes it vital in emergencies or when a patient’s blood type is unknown.

Air ambulances and emergency response vehicles carry O negative supplies. Just 8% of the population have type O Negative but it makes up for around 15% of hospital orders.

O positive is the most common blood type – 35% of donors have it – and can be given to anybody with any positive blood type, meaning three in every four people, or 76% of the population, can benefit from an O positive donation.

An NHSBT spokesperson said:“We urgently need O Negative and O Positive donors to book appointments to give blood in London. We currently need to prioritise donors who know they are type O but also welcome new donors who don’t yet know their blood type.

“Please book an appointment at one of donor centres which currently have good appointment availability. There are more than 6,000 appointments available in London this week and next week. Go to blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.”

Following the bank holidays and school holidays, the NHS currently has lower than normal stocks of type O blood. Next week is National Blood Week during which NHSBT will be launching a big push for new donors ahead of the summer.

A total of 6,400 appointments remain unfilled at centres in Stratford, Shepherd’s Bush, Oxford Circus, Tooting and Edgware

To book an appointment to donate, visit blood.co.uk, see the GiveBloodApp or call 0300 123 23 23.