The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has had to turn to the NHS for help as it struggles to keep fresh blood stocks for hospitals writes:

THE Irish Blood Transfusion Service is looking for blood donors to attend its clinics in Cork in the coming weeks to keep supplies for hospitals at a safe level. The service said that it is struggling to keep fresh blood stocks as Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise around Ireland and that it has had to turn to the NHS in the UK three times in recent weeks for help.

Shortly before St Patrick’s Day, it was revealed that there was only two days’ worth of supply of the universal blood type, O Negative. Following importation from the UK, this has risen to 5.3 days but the two main blood groups in the country, which represent nearly three quarters of the population, are running at only 2.5 days (O+) and 1.7 days (A+).

Around 3,000 units of blood need to be collected every week to maintain the national blood supply. The service is struggling to fill appointments and is experienced a 20% ‘no show’ rate at the moment.The service’s Donor Services Manager in Cork, Maureen Gill, said that stocks of negative blood groups are particularly low.

“Hospitals will always need safe blood for a number of procedures or accidents and at the moment, we are struggling to keep those numbers at a safe level,” Ms Gill told RedFM earlier this week. “All blood is important but at the moment we are particularly short on the negative blood groups. 

“So that’s O Negative, A Negative, B Negative, but we would encourage any blood donor to still attend your clinic.” Clinics will be held tomorrow and Thursday in Ovens, from April 4 to April 7 in Mallow, on April 20 and 21 in Carrigtwohill and throughout the month of April in Cork City.

“There are a large number of clinics in the Cork area in the next few weeks including Glanmire and Ovens this week, Mallow next week, and Carrigaline and Carrigtwohill after Easter,” National Donor Services Manager, Stephen Cousins, told The Echo.

“It is vital to the national supply that these clinics in Cork go well particularly in the run up to Easter. “In addition we have the regular fixed centre blood and platelets clinic in St Finbarrs hospital. Donors who want to give blood can ring 1800 731 137 to make an appointment.”

Source: Echo Live

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