Hospital demand spike prompts campaign to find new Scottish blood donors

A major push for more blood donors has been made in a new campaign as hospitals have reportedly seen an increase in demand.

By Katharine Hay
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:30 am

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is hoping to encourage some 16,000 new blood donors in the next 12 months to bring levels up to a more secure position.

The donor base reached record low levels during the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation confirmed.

Debbie McNaughton, SNBTS’s associate director said since lockdowns have ended, demand for blood in hospitals is currently seeing a 7% increase.

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Blood and blood products are vital life savers and are in high demand Pic: SNBTS

The new campaign, featuring blood donors from across Scotland, and which was filmed in Glasgow this year, has been launched in time for World Blood Donor Day on Monday.

“The campaign is required to help us recruit new blood donors,” Ms McNaughton said.

“We currently have 96,295 blood donors and we need to build this to 105,000 active blood donors.”

She said the increase in demand for blood in hospitals is down to there being “high levels of activity” since Covid restrictions eased.

“This is welcome news,” she added, “so we are asking people in Scotland to register as blood donors now, to allow this good work to continue.”

Virginia, 17, from Springburn Academy in Glasgow, featured in the campaign.

She said: “I personally believe that everyone who can donate blood should do so.

“It is such a rewarding feeling, knowing that you have made an impact in someone’s life. At first, I was a bit worried, but once you’re there the staff are amazing and the process is pain-free.

“I will definitely go back and donate more blood once my three months are over.”

Ms McNaughton added: “If you have never given blood before, or have not given blood for a while, our message is simple: We need people like you to come forward and give blood.

“It’s never been easier to register as a blood donor.

“You can book your appointment online and 84% of active donors now have an online account. Open yours at scotblood.co.uk, and help us keep NHS Scotland running.”

World Blood Donor Day takes place on June 14 each year.

The day was created to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion.