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Blood donations drop amid spell of warm weather

O negative blood is urgently needed.

Health officials are urgently appealing for blood donations, with the prolonged warm weather leading to a drop in supplies.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) aims to have six days’ worth of stock of O negative in England at any one time but levels have fallen to just three days.

While some donors have chosen to stay in the sun, others have not been hydrated enough to give blood.

NHSBT said daily blood donations on warm days have been 5-10% below forecasts.

Combined with England’s run in the World Cup, this has resulted in a total shortfall of more than one day’s worth of donations in the last four weeks.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said: “The long spell of sunshine has been great in many ways but some people have chosen to stay in the sun instead of giving blood, and some people haven’t been hydrated enough to donate safely.

“However hospital patients urgently need blood every day of the year, whatever the weather.

“Nationally, we aim to have six days’ worth of blood stocks but today we only have three days of O negative blood.

“O negative is especially important because it is the universal donor group which can be given to almost anyone in emergencies.

“We need donors with other blood groups to keep their appointments as usual but this urgent appeal is specific to O negative.”

NHSBT asks people to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to their donation, to compensate for the fluids they will lose and help bring blood levels back to normal afterwards.

Appointments can be made by calling 0300 123 23 23.

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