How YOU can become a blood donor hero and help keep little Eddie and others alive


The NHS is short 75,000 regular donors and blood stocks are supplied by the smallest pool in the 21st century now that demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Little boy Eddie Griffin has a rare condition and needs a blood transfusion every month
Little boy Eddie Griffin has a rare condition and needs a blood transfusion every month

With hospitals desperately trying to catch up with a large backlog of cases caused by the closures, the demand for blood is skyrocketing again.

And The Mirror today calls on readers to help in an attempt to save lives by becoming a donor hero.

The NHS is short 75,000 regular donors and stocks are now supplied by the smallest pool in the 21st century as demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

NHS Blood and Transplant Campaigns Director Helen Duggan said: “Our top priority is to maintain a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals.

“During the height of the pandemic, this was achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors, the smallest in 25 years.

As hospitals catch up with routine care, we face a critical crossroads in meeting the increased demand for blood and are calling on new donors to step up and join this incredible group of donors. people who save lives.

The NHS is short of regular donors
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Image:

Mark Waugh Manchester Ltd Press Photo)

“We need 450 new donors every day to help meet patient needs.

“Join this amazing club today and book an appointment to be part of the NHS recovery.”

Some 750,000 selfless donors kept hospitals stocked at the height of the Covid crisis, but this was 40,000 fewer than the previous year. The NHS was able to cope at the time because non-urgent operations had stopped in England, resulting in a 27% drop in demand for blood. It also meant that donations fell by 21%.

Now the hospital’s waiting list has reached six million and continues to rise as patients present with conditions that went untreated during the closures. Many need transfusions.

Donors keep the health service afloat by donating blood for everything from childbirth to emergency surgery, and keeping alive those suffering from a number of hereditary diseases, such as sickle cell anemia.

There is an urgent need for donors with the Ro blood subtype, which is 10 times more common in black than white people.

Sickle cell anemia primarily affects Afro-Caribbean patients. It is more important that the patients’ blood is ethnically compatible because they receive it in large quantities. Only 2% of current donors have Ro blood.

Many of the 15,000 people with sickle cell anemia in England need regular transfusions, or blood exchanges every four weeks, to help prevent distressing symptoms that can culminate in a fatal stroke.

A large number of transfusions are performed in emergency situations when there is no time to match the blood to the patient’s type. So there is also a great need for more O-negative donors.

Known as the universal blood type, it can be administered to most patients.

A typical donation of more than an hour can save or improve up to three lives. The existing army of regular donors relied on by the NHS during the height of the pandemic has been known to produce a successful donation.

Limiting the number also made the most of available space, while clinics adhered to social distancing guidelines.

Some of this group withdraw from giving every day for a number of reasons, including health, lifestyle change, or not wanting to continue.

It has led to the number of active donors falling last year to its lowest level since 1996.

Tomorrow we will reveal the life-changing impact of new blood on people living with sickle cell, and take on the challenge of recruiting more black donors.

The one-year-old boy who needs blood every month to stay alive

Little Eddie Griffin has a rare condition and needs a blood transfusion every month to stay alive.

You have Diamond Blackfan anemia, which means your body cannot make red blood cells.

At only 11 weeks, Eddie stopped eating well and started sleeping most of the day.

He was admitted to hospital where his hemoglobin levels were found to be so low that
I needed an emergency transfusion.

Genetic testing confirmed a diagnosis of DBA.

Eddie, who turned one in December, is now surviving on regular transfusions at Leeds General Infirmary and the transformation in him is almost instantaneous. Mum Charlotte, 32, said: “In the days leading up to a transfusion, Eddie can get moody and tired. The change once he’s bloody is noticeable: the color returns to his face and he really wants to go.

Sign up as a blood donor today and get involved in the NHS recovery.

Patients need blood throughout the year and the NHS must ensure a constant supply.

In some areas of the country there are limited appointments for first-time donors, so if you can’t find a space right away, look a few weeks or months in advance.

Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to register and start saving lives.

“Surprisingly, every time Eddie receives blood, he learns a new ability. When he learned to walk and sit for the first time, they both went immediately after a transfusion.

Eddie lives with marketing director mum Charlotte and dad, accountant Anthony, 31, in Burnley, Lancs, and gets just under a unit of blood every three to four weeks.

Added Charlotte: “DBA is a huge part of our lives, but it’s just a small part of who Eddie is.

“Some people say they are sorry for Eddie’s condition, but any sympathy is misplaced. Eddie is thriving, he is happy.

“Thanks to the donors, her future is bright. To everyone who donates blood, I would say, thank you. You are heroes.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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