Olympics 'could hit Rotherham blood donations,' says NHS

ROTHERHAM residents are being urged to give blood as the NHS fears that this year’s busy diary of events could affect donations.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Service is warning that a “perfect storm” could be created by the year’s bumper sporting calendar and extra bank holidays, severely affecting blood donation levels across Yorkshire and the Humber in 2012.

NHSBT statistics show that 93 per cent of donors give blood during the working week, and that when there are big sporting events or a string of bank holidays, national donation levels drop.

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Last year on one day alone there were 851 fewer donations than the previous year, constituting a 12 per cent drop due to the combination of particularly warm, sunny weather, the World Cup quarter final and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon semi final.

The NHS is concerned that a similar cluster of bank holidays and this years Olympic Games could see a repeat of last years problems.

Darren Bowen, NHSBT donor relations manager for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “2012 is going to be an exciting year for the UK, but we're concerned that the cluster of major events could dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.”

Most people over the age of 17 can donate. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit the www.blood.co.uk website to find out about your nearest blood donation session.