Rise in black people givng blood in Sheffield revealed, but more donors are still needed

There has been a rise of almost 20 per cent in the number of black people who have donated blood in Sheffield.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 10:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 3:31 pm
A black person giving blood
A black person giving blood

Over the past year, 18 per cent more black people from Sheffield have started donating blood, new figures released to mark the end of Sickle Cell Awareness Month have revealed. The awareness month ran during September.

There is a donor centre on Church Street, city centre, which people have been visiting, and also mobile donation sessions which have been held in community venues such as church halls.

More donors are needed, however, despite the fact there has been a rise in the number of black people giving blood.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said: “This month we can celebrate how more and more black people in Sheffield are saving lives by donating blood.

“However the shortage of black donors remains, which makes it harder to find the best matched blood for black people, putting them at greater risk of potentially life threatening transfusion reactions.

“Blood donation is quick, easy and safe and we urge people of black heritage in Sheffield to register as donors to help save lives.”

NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging more black people in Sheffield to register as blood donors and save lives.

People from the same ethnic background are more likely to have the same blood types.

The shortage of black blood donors makes it harder, however, to find the best matched blood for black patients.

Nationally, new figures show that the number of black blood donors has grown over the past three years in response to urgent appeals in recent years but NHS Blood and Transplant still needs 40,000 new black donors.

There is also an urgent need for donors with Ro blood. Only two per cent of donors have Ro type blood.

Ro is often used to save people with the rare blood disorder, sickle cell disease. Ro blood is ten times more common in black people than in white people.

The red blood cells of sickle cell patients form into a sickle or crescent moon shape. These deformed cells can block blood vessels, causing agonising pain, and creating a risk of organ damage, stroke, and death.

To become a blood donor, please book an appointment by calling 0300 123 23 23.