Number of black blood donors rises in Southwark after urgent appeal

Katherine Johnston (03 October, 2019) Health

Progress is welcome but overall shortage remains

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The number of black blood donors in Southwark has risen by more than ten per cent in the last year after an urgent NHS and Southwark News appeal.

According to NHS blood and transplant, 10.9 per cent more black blood donors have signed up in the last twelve months.

People from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match, meaning black donors are needed to help many patients who depend on life-saving transplants – such as those who need regular transfusions to manage sickle cell disease.

Although the new figures show progress, there is still an overall shortage of black donors and, nationwide, the NHS needs to recruit about 40,000 new donors.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said: “This month we can celebrate how more and more black people in Southwark are saving lives by donating blood.

“However the shortage of black donors remains, which makes it harder to find the best matched blood for black people, putting them at greater risk of potentially life-threatening transfusion reactions.

“Blood donation is quick, easy and safe and we urge people of black heritage in Southwark to register as donors to help save lives.”

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