Blood donations are an essential part of our healthcare system, and it is undeniable that giving blood helps saves lives. If we did not have volunteers giving blood then many medical procedures, which we often take for granted, could not happen.

In England alone, around 8,000 blood transfusions are carried out everyday, so the demand for donations is extremely high. As well as this, blood can only be safely stored for a relatively short amount of time, so hospital blood stocks need to be continuously refreshed.

Most people between the ages of 17 and 66 are eligible to donate, depending on their health. However, according to the NHS, only about 4% of the population donate regularly. Each year approximately 200,000 new donors are needed, as some regular donors may no longer be able to give blood. Around half of the current donors are over the age of 45. Because of this, there is a strong need for young donors as well as people from Black and Asian communities.

This much needed blood will, in most cases, be separated into its component parts and used to treat a variety of conditions. The red blood cells are used to treat anaemia and replace blood lost as the result of an accident. Platelets are used to treat illnesses such as leukaemia and Plasma is used to treat conditions where large volumes of blood have been lost, such as liver disease.

For more information, or to register as a donor and find your local donation session visit www.blood.co.uk

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