IBTS seeks 15,000 blood donations before Christmas to keep hospitals supplied

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service today (Sunday) urged people to make a special effort to give blood between now and Christmas, as 15,000 donations are needed to maintain the blood supply over the Christmas/New Year period. 

We are launching our Christmas campaign, which includes increased advertising and promotional activities, to ensure that we have adequate supplies of blood over the Christmas/New year period.  Hospital demand has increased significantly over the last two months.   A combination of low attendances at clinics in the week before and the week after the October bank holiday weekend and a 7% increase in blood issued in October 2007 over October 2006, has led  to a reduction in stock of 1,500 units, leaving  the blood supply very tight in recent weeks.  The trend has continued in November with demand remaining at this increased level, said IBTS Director of Operations Paddy Bowler.

Currently, there are 3.5 days of blood supply in stock; which means that meeting hospital requirements over the forthcoming holiday period is a particularly difficult challenge. Ideally, we would like to have 7 days supply.

We are urging donors, all over the country, but especially in urban areas to give a priceless gift this Christmas - give blood.  Approximately 20% of all people who attend can not give blood on any given day, therefore we actually need about 19,000 people to attend our clinics in the coming weeks to reach our target of 15,000 donations.  
Traditionally, holiday periods, but especially the lead into the Christmas / New Year festivities present significant difficulties in sustaining the blood supply, therefore we are asking new and regular donors to make a special effort to give blood over the coming weeks.