Without the blood transfusions, she could have died. Lucy Sarsby, an 11- year old patient stricken with an inherent blood disorder called Beta Thalassemia major, has been receiving regular blood transfusions of red blood cells since she was a toddler. Her parents couldn’t imagine how life would have been if not for blood donor.
Without the massive transfusion, he could have died. David Copes was rushed tot he hospital with 41 fractures and internal injuries with the least hope of living. He wouldn’t have made it if not for the 40 strangers whose blood donations were in the hospital’s supply.
Without available blood, she and her daughter could have died. Nicola Grantham received blood transfusion during an emergency caesarian while giving birth. She knows how it feels to have life saving blood running through her veins and wonder how many people took the time to donate their blood.
They are among few of the thousands of people who needed blood and have benefited from blood transfusions in United Kingdom and around the world. Every day, a lot of people depend on someone else’s blood for survival, and somewhere in the world people lose their lives everyday because of blood shortage.
A blood shortage is the scenario the National Health Services (NHS) in London want to avoid this summer. The Olympics will be held in the nation and it would mean an influx of people from participating countries flocking to London. With the string of festivities scheduled this coming season, NHS appeals for extra blood from blood donors to prevent a potential crisis in supplies before June. The contingency plan against blood shortage is to get as much donations so that people like Lucia, David and Nicola won’t have to deal with the dreadful consequences of blood shortage.
NHS said that blood stocks need to be 30% higher to be able to cope with the foreseen increased number of people during the Olympics.
Summer in London will be full-packed as major events like Olympics, Jubilee Celebrations and Euro Football Championships take place. People will have their schedules set for these occasions and the NHS said they should collect sufficient amount of blood before everyone else in town gets busy.
Jon Latham, assistant director for blood collection and spokesperson of NHS Blood and Transplant said that they have lot of evidence that blood collection is harder during sporting events.
He further asked blood donors for support and said, “This year we have a unique situation and need the public’s help to counterbalance the inevitable dip in donations as people celebrate a memorable summer for the country. People get distracted doing other things and don’t make their appointments.”
“Every unit of blood saves or improves the life of three people. We obviously want to make sure everyone enjoys the Games, and want to make sure that if there are any accidents we have the blood supplies to help them recover quickly,” Latham added.
The Great Need for Blood
Hospitals in England and North Wales need 7,000 units of blood per day but sadly, only 4% of people who can donate blood do so and 230,000 new donors are needed each year to meet the demands of blood. Blood is needed in a lot of medical situations, from women giving birth who lose blood to treating injured people in accidents and long term illnesses to helping those undergoing surgery.
The demand for blood is rising and the NHS appealed to people to sign up now rather than later in the year. Donors of all blood types are needed but in particular those with B negative, O positive and O negative.