A PACKED sporting calendar and jubilee celebrations could severely harm the region’s blood stocks in 2012.
That’s the warning from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) as it calls on local people to donate regularly.
NHSBT statistics show that 93 per cent of donors give blood during the working week, a habit which can be disrupted by bank holidays.
There was a 12 per cent drop in donations last year on the day of the World Cup Quarter Final and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Semi Final.
And the bank holidays around Easter and the Royal wedding week led to 3,500 fewer donations nationally.
This year’s celebrations for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, Euro 2012, the Olympics and the Paralympics could all hit donation levels.
Darren Bowen, NHSBT’s donor relations manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “2012 is going to be an exciting year for the UK, but we’re concerned that the cluster of major events could dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.
“Approximately two million units of blood will be needed by hospitals throughout 2012, and the equivalent of 500 extra donations will be needed each week in the first six months to help us build blood stocks and cover extra potential need from Olympic visitors.
“Whether you’ve never donated before or haven’t done for a while please book your appointment and help save lives in 2012.”
Donations of blood are used to treat patients with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, sickle cell disease, for new mums and babies, and during surgery, as well as for patients involved in accidents.
The next local blood donor sessions are: January 19, St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Mirfield, 2pm-4pm, 5pm-7.30pm; January 27, Older People’s Centre, Batley, 1.45pm-3.45pm, 4.45pm-7pm; January 30: Town hall, Cleckheaton, 2.30pm-4pm, 5pm-7.30pm.
Visit www.blood.co.uk or ring 0300 123 2323 to make an appointment.