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12:00am 20th April 2011

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is asking blood donors to make a special effort to keep their appointments over the four-day Easter break closely followed by the Royal Wedding and May bank holiday weekend.

Jon Latham, Assistant Director of Marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said:

 "The Royal Wedding and the double bank holiday present welcome extra excitement for the nation, but they could become a distraction as people throw themselves into the celebrations or take extended holidays.

"We're asking donors to make a special effort to give blood during April, particularly, at the sessions planned between the two bank holidays. If you've never given blood before, right now is a good time to start."


Healthy blood stocks are vital to ensure that patients undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases, such as leukaemia, continue to receive the transfusions they need.

Donors of all blood types are needed, particularly O negative which is known as the "universal donor".

Their blood can be given to anybody, which can be vital in an emergency when someone's blood type is unknown.

Platelet donors are especially being asked to come to donate at the local donor centres over the holidays.

A shelf life for platelets of just 5 days, make these donations crucial for patients needing treatment at this time.

Jon Latham added:


"Giving blood is giving the gift of life, a gift that could help ensure someone else is able to enjoy future Royal Weddings and Bank Holidays."


To become a blood donor and book an appointment call the Donor Line now on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk

First time donors should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health.

If you've donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

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