LONDON, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Public urged to give blood ahead of major events this summer to boost blood stocks for 2012
Eight celebrities, each representing one of the major blood groups, are supporting NHS Blood and Transplant’s campaign to increase blood stocks this summer.
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Gary Lineker, Sarah Beeny, Jayne Torvill, Graham Bell, Greg James, Rachel Riley, Twin B and Saira Khan will help to boost blood stocks by 30%, above usual levels, ahead of the Olympic Games and encourage donors to support their country by contributing to blood supplies.
the Team Give Blood ‘captains’, will encourage people of a specific blood type to donate before major national events, including the Jubilee and Olympics as well as the football European Championships. the celebrities will be using their own social media profiles to encourage the public to be a part of ‘Team Give Blood’ by donating, as well as appearing in promotional materials and mailers.
Jon Latham, spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), said: “This year we need donors more than ever before because major public events can disrupt regular donations and we have extra visitors to the UK to prepare ahead for. we know our regular donors feel a strong sense of team spirit and positivity about their contribution to the health of the nation, so this campaign will help capture the national spirit of 2012 and ensure we are well prepared for the summer’s festivities.”
the celebrities will be championing the following blood groups:
Gary Lineker, ex footballer and presenter – captain of Team O-, the universal blood type, which can be given to people of any blood type and is therefore often used in emergency situations. Just 7% of the population have O- blood.
Greg James, radio presenter – as captain of Team O+, Greg will be appealing to 37% of the population with this blood type. this is the most common blood type in the UK.
Saira Khan, presenter and entrepreneur – captain of Team A-. One of the rarer blood types, just 7% of people has A- blood and it is more common in the Asian and African-Caribbean population.
Rachel Riley, TV presenter – captain of Team A+. 35% of the population in England and North Wales are A+, making it one of the most common blood types and also one of the most used.
Twin B, DJ and radio presenter – the radio DJ is captain of Team B- not only because it’s his favourite letter, but because just 2% of the population have this blood type. As with A-, it is more common in the Asian and African-Caribbean population.
Sarah Beeny, presenter and entrepreneur – captain of Team B+, Sarah will be appealing to people with this blood type who are eligible to come forward and make a date to donate. Although just 8% of the population are B+, globally this figure is 20%, meaning higher levels will be needed in preparation for the increased visitors expected this summer.
Jayne Torvill, Olympic gold medallist – captain of TeamAB-, which is the rarest blood type in the UK, with just 1% of the population having this blood type.
Graham Bell, former Olympian and TV presenter – captain of TeamAB+. Just 3% of the population have this blood type, though globally this figure is 5%.
Past experience shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations as people become distracted and routines are disrupted. this, combined with the high numbers of international visitors expected this year with a different native blood mix to our own, may also put high demand on specific blood groups.
Blood is used to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, trauma incidents and maternity care. Hospitals across England and North Wales need 7,000 units of blood every day and each unit saves or improves the lives of three patients.
If you are eligible to donate or are thinking of donating for the first time please go to blood.co.uk or ring us on 0300 123 23 23 and make an appointment now.
Notes to editors:
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
NHSBT collects approximately two million units of blood each year from 1.4 million blood donors
the NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily across England and North Wales
Around 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors
a unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations.
There are four main blood groups – O, a, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. over 95% of the blood collected is processed into its main components – red cells, platelets and plasma. a regular supply of blood is vital as red cells last only 35 days and platelets only seven days.
Negative blood types are rarer among our indigenous population, which places more need on people of these blood types to donate.
Compared with global blood types, however, the UK has a lower than average percentage of types B+ (8% UK vs. 20% global) and AB+ (3% UK vs. 5% global) creating a potential greater need for these blood types
 Blood stocks fell by 20% for example during the 2006 World Cup due to disrupted supply
For more information on the campaign or quotes and images of the Team Give Blood captains, please contact the NHSBT team at the Red Consultancy:
email@example.com / +44(0)20-7025-6415 / +44(0)7912-041-626
firstname.lastname@example.org / +44(0)20-7025-6556 / +44(0)7912-041-268
SOURCE NHS Blood & Transplant
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