SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Cynthia Dunlop, RealWire News Distribution, Gilad Parann-Nissany

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HO, HO, O, A, B, AB - Santas From Across the Country Are Lining Up to Deliver This Year's Must-Have Gift: Blood

LONDON, December 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

In a bid to encourage the nation to get into the Christmas spirit and donate blood this season, a group of Santas took time away from their grottos to give blood at the West End donor centre just off Oxford Street.  They went in wearing traditional red outfits and came out in white after the blood donation session.

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The festive period is typically a challenging time for blood stocks. The party season, Christmas shopping, extended public holidays and general festive rush mean that taking the time to donate from November through to the New Year can slip off people's to-do lists.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Marketing at NHSBT said: "Christmas is not far away and children across the country are counting down the days until Santa comes to visit. Some young patients need Santa to bring them something far more important than the latest gadget or toy this Christmas- they need the gift of blood to stay alive"

Blood and platelet donations are a vital resource to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, people involved in accidents and in maternity care.

If you're 17 or over, in general good health and want to spread some Christmas cheer by saving lives, do your bit by visiting or calling 0300 123 23 23 to find a session in England or North Wales near you to give blood. 

Platelet donors can donate at one of our 24 donor centres across England. While all donors are important, O negative and B negative blood donors and A negative and AB negative platelet donors are particularly needed.

Notes to editors:

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
  • NHSBT's donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones
  • NHSBT collects approximately 1.9 million units of blood each year from 1.3 million blood donors
  • Hospitals in England and North Wales need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients with a range of health issues
  • Only four per cent of the eligible population are active blood donors
  • A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
  • There are four main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. Over 95% of the blood collected is processed into its main components - red cells, platelets and plasma. A regular supply of blood is vital - red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days
  • Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations. Platelets can be donated every 2 weeks
  • There are apps available for Android and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for their nearest blood donation session


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