Call for Latics to come forward and donate blood or platelets
NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for Oldham Athletic's fans to step forward and donate blood or platelets, so patients whose lives depend on blood and platelet transfusions get what they need as we start the New Year.
Latics players warmed up in promotional t-shirts ahead of the game against Bradford City early in December, an initiative welcomed by Andy Worthington from Copsterhill, a Latics fan since 1968 and a platelet donor in Manchester.
Andy said: “I'm involved in running the cancer charity MelanomaUK and once I realised that blood and platelet donations can help melanoma and other cancer patients under treatment it was an obvious step to take.
“Giving a platelet donation takes a couple of hours of your time, once a fortnight if you can manage it, around the same time as you'd spend at the match watching Latics. The difference that giving those 2 hours makes to the platelet recipient could be life changing for them.”
Duncan Watson, a Latics fan now living in Bolton and a donor for more than 15 years, said: “It is fantastic to see the club get behind and support the drive to recruit more blood and platelet donors. This is essential as 96% of the UK population rely on the other 4% who actually donate.”
Carole Hynes, a Donor Care Supervisor at the centre on Plymouth Grove, Manchester, who also works at Boundary Park on match days and is pictured with James Tarkowski and Jonathan Grounds, says: “We have lots of blood donation sessions in the Oldham area, and further afield, and would love to see some more Latics fans, like Andy and Duncan, giving blood and helping to save lives. If you are interested in becoming a platelet donor you can provide an extra blood sample at the time of a donation to see if you are eligible”
A unit of blood has a shelf life of 35 days. Hospitals in England and North Wales need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients in urgent need and each unit donated could help save or improve the lives of up to three people. Besides being crucial to care in A&E, blood is used to treat patients with cancer, blood disorders like sickle cell or thalassemia as well as women needing blood during childbirth.
NHS Blood and Transplant will need to deliver 800 units of platelets every day to hospitals in England and North Wales throughout January. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood which help to stem blood loss by enabling clotting and can be used to help cancer or leukaemia sufferers undergoing chemotherapy. Platelets only have a shelf life of seven days so it’s vital stocks are constantly replenished to meet patient need. Platelets are collected in 24 centres across England, with two of those being in Manchester city centre.
Barbara Blanche, Lead Donor Relations Manager for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “For thousands of patients across the country, this year’s Must-Have gift is blood and we’re asking you to help. Donating doesn’t cost a penny and saves lives, meaning many more children and adults can spend precious time with their families and enjoy 2014.
“The New Year is always an extremely challenging time of year for us as we need to make sure that hospitals are supplied with the blood they need to treat patients after the festive period. We need donors from all blood groups, but we especially need O Rh negative and B Rh negative to come forward. Whether you’re a regular blood donor, or have never donated before, you can make a real difference. So please make an appointment now or go along to an local session to save lives.”
If you’re 17 and over and in general good health, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to find a session in England or North Wales near you to go and give blood, or www.blood.co.uk/platelets for more information about platelet donation.